When news of the talks leaked to the press, however, Papandreou abruptly pulled out, spurring a round of bitter recriminations.
Sources had told the BBC that Papandreou will resign after an emergency cabinet meeting today.
There are reports that Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos could replace Papandreou as prime minister.
Papandreou had called for a vote of confidence to take place Friday after several members of his party defected.
Regardless of the result, Papandreou seems destined for indefinite—and perhaps permanent—political exile.
The leader of the coup against Papandreou is Antonis Samaras.
But that reaction may have been exactly what Papandreou wanted.
Samaras was game, but insisted that Papandreou would have to stand down, to be replaced by a non-partisan interim premier.
Pals since their high-school days at a tony Athens prep school, Samaras and Papandreou formed an unlikely friendship.