Manchester United have been told by Barcelona that Cesc Fábregas is not for sale. David Moyes had hoped to make a breakthrough in the next 48 hours, with the manager confirming Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, had returned from United's tour early to work on the move following a £26m bid for the midfielder.
Yet Barça's vice-president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, has ended any chance of a deal being struck: "Barça can ensure they will not entertain any offers for Cesc. He is completely non-transferable."
Earlier Moyes admitted he was interested in signing the former Arsenal captain and believed Woodward was close to an agreement. "The chief executive [Woodward] has been dealing with it," said Moyes. "I may have a bit more information in the next day or so about how it's going."
Moyes, speaking in Sydney ahead of United's game with the A-League All Stars on Saturday, reiterated the club's stance regarding Wayne Rooney: "There's no change. As far as players we're looking to bring in, we're trying very hard to make some additions to the squad. Hopefully there'll be some good news in the not too distant future."
Moyes has the chance to select Robin van Persie for the first time on Saturday, after the Dutchman joined the tour this week. "We'll probably only use Robin in the second half," said Moyes. "We've over-trained him this week to make sure he builds up his fitness.
"Phil Jones will be involved from the start. We've not come with a massive squad so that means everyone will play some time. Well, that's the plan. I wanted all the players to get 90 minutes. That happened in the first game and we'll try and do that again in this game."
Moyes is also hopeful that Danny Welbeck will rediscover his scoring touch. "When I arrived I was told how important Danny had been and how important he will be," said Moyes. "We're giving him an opportunity now and he has the chance to get some games. It would be worse if he wasn't getting chances. Hopefully he'll start taking a few of those chances and that will give him the confidence to go on a run and score a few goals."