Manchester United's hopes of prising Barcelona's star midfielder Andres Iniesta away from Catalonia have been dashed by the news that he has signed a new deal at the club.
The playmaker has agreed a three-year extension to his current contract, which will keep him at the club until 2018, according to club president Sandro Rosell.
"We are very, very happy," Rosell said. "I think this is a great Christmas gift for all Barcelona fans."
The announcement comes as a blow to defending Premier League champions Manchester United whose search for high quality improvements to their midfield continues to be frustrated.
However any attempts to lure Iniesta away from Barcelona were always going to be difficult with the Spaniard having been at the club since the age of 12, helping them win 21 trophies.
Manchester United must now look elsewhere, with January moves for Ander Herrera and Fredy Guarin rumoured yet unconfirmed.