Manchester United’s hopes of signing Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas were hit when the Spanish midfielder declared his loyalty to his boyhood club and effectively ended David Moyes’ pursuit of the midfielder.
Moyes had been considering a third bid for Fabregas which would have broken United’s transfer record of £30.75m for Dimitar Berbatov.
Fabregas, 26, said: “Triumphing in Barcelona has been my dream since I was a child.
“I am very happy at Barcelona and I haven’t spoken to any other club in the last two years.”
Arsenal have close ties to their former captain and would have had first refusal for Fabregas if any bid was accepted by Barca but now it appears that Moyes will have to turn his attentions elsewhere.
Everton’s Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini, signed by Moyes for Everton from Standard Liege in 2008 for £15m, could yet be a target for United along with a further bid for left back Leighton Baines as United bid to strengthen their squad for the forthcoming season.