Manchester United have officially been put out of their misery in the race to sign Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta.
The Spanish giants announced the deal on their website at midday, with the Blaugrana securing the player’s services until the summer of 2018.
A picture of Iniesta with Barcelona president Sandro Rossell accompanied the news, whilst the 29-year-old’s wife and children were also present at the signing of the contract.
Iniesta joined the Catalan giants as a 12-year-old, and has gone on to star in midfield during the most successful period in the club’s history.
The 94-cap international has won six La Liga titles, three Champions League trophies and the Copa del Rey on two separate occasions at the Camp Nou.
Alongside Sergio Busquets and Xavi, he’s helped form one of the most formidable combinations in world football. But, with his original deal set to expire in 2015, Manchester United had sensed an opportunity to pounce.
The Red Devils missed out on a number of high-profile targets in the summer, after David Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson at the Old Trafford helm.
Landing Iniesta would have proved that Manchester United remain a powerhouse both domestically and in Europe, and he would have joined compatriot David de Gea at the club.
However, the Premier League champions will now need to take their search elsewhere following the news from Spain.