Manchester United can't catch a break during this summer's transfer window.
New boss David Moyes has put out feelers toward a number of players who were deemed worthy of a move to Old Trafford, but so far, there haven't been many takers.
Add Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas to that list.
United lodged two official bids for the Spanish star during the current transfer window, both of which were promptly rejected by the Catalan club. On Thursday, Fabregas spoke out about his future with the La Liga giants and confirmed that he has no interest in returning to the Premier League this season.
Sky Sports had a report with the 26-year-old's comments:
It has always been my dream to play for Barcelona and that has not changed. I am very happy with life at the club...I am always relaxed and I have never thought about leaving Barca. I never had any doubts about my future here. It cost me a lot to return to Barca and all I want now is to be successful here...I have not spoken with any other club for two summers now and neither is it true that I have asked for a new contract.
The Red Devils must focus their attention elsewhere quickly.
As noted by Goal.com's Greg Stobart, Moyes' first transfer window since being appointed as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor so far hasn't gone the way fans had hoped.
In addition to Fabregas, new Bayern Munich man Thiago Alcantara, Real Madrid's Luka Modric, Paris Saint-Germain's Marco Verratti and Juventus stars Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal have all seen United interest thwarted by their clubs.
With United keen on adding at least one player to bolster their lineup before the EPL season, here's a look at the latest transfer gossip after Fabregas' pledge to Barca.
In a move that would bolster both the midfield and the back line, Hytner is reporting that the Red Devils are planning a £30 million bid for the pair.
Here's an excerpt from his Wednesday piece:
Fellaini is understood to have offers from elsewhere in the Premier League but he would relish the opportunity to join United and continue his working relationship with Moyes. The 25-year-old's contract at Everton contained a £23.5m buy-out clause but it expired on 31 July, meaning that his value will now be determined by market forces.
Baines would provide competition to United's current left-back, Patrice Evra, who has given excellent service since his £5.5m move from Monaco in 2006. Everton rejected a bid of around £12m for Baines from United in June.
Stobart's report for Goal.com mentions Fellaini as the club's most likely transfer candidate to bolster the midfield after losing out on several other big names throughout the current window.
While United have not made their interest in Fellaini or Baines official since the news of Fabregas' commitment to Barcelona broke, Moyes could move quickly in his attempts to swoop the Everton duo away from Goodison Park.
Fellaini had 11 goals and five assists for Everton during the 2012-13 EPL season, while Baines is a steady defender who would provide depth and experience to Moyes' defense.
While Fellaini and Baines are both familiar with Moyes and Everton will have a hard time turning down a large sum for both players, other possibilities exist with respect to United's transfer plans.
Simon Mullock of the Daily Mirror reported on Aug. 3 that the Red Devils would be interested in Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger in the event that a third bid for Fabregas was rejected.
Since Munich boss Pep Guardiola is not interested in playing two defensive midfielders in his tactical formation, Schweinsteiger could be the odd man out. If that's the case, there's no telling how many clubs—Mullock mentions Chelsea and Arsenal as potential suitors—will line up to place bids.
Elsewhere, the Wayne Rooney saga continues to put some of United's plans on hold.
The 27-year-old striker has been the subject of transfer rumours since the EPL season ended in May, and according to Ian Herbert of The Independent, Rooney will still seek to move on if a deal with Chelsea can't be agreed by the September deadline.
If Rooney does indeed put Old Trafford in his rearview, United reportedly have interest in Udinese foward Luis Muriel.
According to Jamie Sanderson of the Metro, the Red Devils regard Muriel as a low-cost replacement for Rooney. He scored 11 goals for Udinese last season, and Sanderson claims would be available to United for a fee of £18 million.
Though it might be a long shot, Raphael Varane rounds out our list of potential United targets.
TalkSPORT is reporting that the Red Devils could be interested prying the Real Madrid man away from the Bernabeu, though that end game seems unlikely at this point.
As a United fan, which transfer target would excite you the most?
French newspaper L'Equipe is reporting that Varane is set to extend his commitment to Madrid two years past the six-year contract he signed in 2011. The new agreement would tie Varane to Madrid through 2019.
As the saying goes in sports: "It's not about how you start, it's how you finish."
Although it's been a disappointing transfer window for Moyes and the Red Devils so far, there are still targets who can help the reigning Premier League champions right away.
United need a strong finish before Moyes' first season at Old Trafford officially gets underway.
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