In his first press conference as Barcelona manager, Gerardo Martino has dealt Manchester United a crushing blow in their “ongoing” pursuit of Cesc Fabregas.
Flanked by club vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu, Martino was assailed by questions about Cesc’s future after penning his two-year deal to manage the Spanish champions.
Barca have already rebuffed two bids for Fabregas from the Red Devils, who appear determined to add the former Arsenal skipper to their roster this season.
The Catalan giants have gone on record to say that Fabregas will not be leaving, the player himself has suggested the rumours he could leave are “absurd”, and his team-mates have all insisted he is going nowhere.
Spanish football correspondent Guillem Balague echoed those sentiments on Twitter just as ‘Tata’s presser was about to begin.
And the comments that followed seem to indicate that United’s hunt for Cesc should not go on any longer, lest it become embarrassing.
Fabregas is “not for sale” at any cost, according to Bartomeu, while Martino added that Barca will reject all bids for the midfielder.
“It doesn't matter what the offer from Manchester United is, we are counting on him,” Martino said emphatically.
With that order of business taken care of, United have been given the message that they should take their transfer intentions elsewhere in the market.