When Ronald Koeman was appointed Barca boss after the sacking of Quique Setien, he outlined two primary transfer targets - Memphis and Gini Wijnaldum of Liverpool.
The Memphis deal had decidedly more traction, though, with the Lyon president even conceding that the move would happen this past Monday which was transfer deadline day around Europe.
However, despite personal terms being agreed, the clubs couldn't come to an arrangement on a transfer fee.
Memphis has revealed that there were other reasons, too, however,
“It was pretty close," he told NOS about the move.
"We don't need to go into all the details, but there were certain rules that prevented it, unfortunately.
“But I believe everything happens for a reason. I now focus on Lyon and want to be important there again."
The Dutchman still wants the move, though, and hopes that Barca's interest will remain in January or next summer.
"We'll see how things are going again afterwards," he added.
"If I do my thing, the interest may still be there. I just have to switch that switch now.”
Memphis was speaking after the Netherlands lost 1-0 to Mexico in a friendly on Wednesday in new head coach Frank de Boer's first match in charge.