Manchester United were dealt a blow in their pursuit of Cesc Fabregas this morning as the player insisted in a press conference he would stay at Barcelona.
So, that's that? Well, not quite. Fabregas stated that he had not talked to any other clubs, which is almost certainly false - United and the player are known to have been in contact - and similar sentiments had been expressed by the Spain midfielder before he departed his previous club, Arsenal.
Despite that, if this was simply a press conference he had to do, he was certainly pretty emphatic, saying:. "My dream has always been to play at Barça and nothing has changed. I'm very happy here and I never thought about leaving. I never had any doubt.
"It has cost me a lot to return to Barça and now I want to triumph here. Things have been invented. It's also not true that I have asked for a contract renewal. I didn't have to clear up anything, because for me it was clear I wanted to stay. I told the club I'd talk when it was my turn."
It's all but certain that United will now move on to other targets, and Marouane Fellaini is the most heavily-linked. Yet with the club seemingly desperate to find a marquee signing, it wouldn't be a surprise to see another big name linked to a move to Old Trafford in the near future.