After Fábregas said that he had never "thought about leaving", United appeared to concede defeat. "We appreciate Cesc is a contracted player at Barcelona and completely respect everything Cesc has said today," a club spokesman said.
Until Fábregas's first public statement on his future, made on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur on Barça's pre-season tour, United had continued their pursuit of the 26-year-old, having been given indications from his camp that he remained open to the transfer despite his club having rejected United's bids of £26m and £30m.
Fábregas said: "My dream has always been to play at Barça and nothing has changed. I'm very, very happy here and I never thought about leaving. I never had any doubt. It has cost me a lot to return to Barça and now I want to triumph here. Things have been invented. It's also not true that I have asked for a contract renewal.
"I didn't have to clear up anything, because for me it was clear I wanted to stay. I told the club I'd talk when it was my turn. I've always felt valued by the club. Everyone told me they count on me, I never got any sign that made me think otherwise."
Although various members of the Barça hierarchy said Fábregas was not for sale, United had continued to focus on making the former Arsenal captain Moyes's marquee signing.
Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, flew home early from the club's pre-season tour in Sydney last month to try and secure Fábregas's signature, but the Spaniard's unequivocal rejection represents a setback for David Gill's replacement as the man in charge of United's transfer business.
Until Gill stepped down at the close of last season Woodward, who brokered the deal for the Glazers when they bought the club in 2005, had never operated in the transfer market.
Whether United will consider making a final bid seems unlikely, with the club now facing less than three weeks until the window closes. Moyes wants to sign two midfielders, with the manager weighing up whether to finally bid for Everton's Marouane Fellaini, having had a £12m offer turned down in June for their left-back, Leighton Baines.
For the visit of Sevilla on Friday evening, Rio Ferdinand's testimonial, Moyes has injury concerns. Beyond Wayne Rooney, who has a shoulder problem, Nani and Jonny Evans each failed to finish Tuesday's 1-1 draw with AIK in Stockholm.
Nani, who was unavailable for the three-week pre-season tour of Asia and Australian after a nose operation, has a tight groin while Evans took a knock to an ankle. Moyes said: "Jonny actually got kneed on the ankle. He thought that he was going to be able to run it off but if we left him on then it would only have got worse. Nani just felt his groin tighten up and he didn't want to take any risks. Neither did we. We thought it was safer to take him off at that time."
Nemanja Vidic, the captain, did complete a first full game of the summer following sciatica, and David de Gea should be available after a finger injury.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
image: © Ines11thiago