Barcelona tell Arsenal: David Villa's not for sale
Arsenal's hopes of signing David Villa have been dashed after Barcelona ruled out selling the striker this month.
The Gunners are desperate to add some fire power to their attack and had been strongly linked with a move for the Spanish striker.
After allowing Moroccan misfit Marouane Chamakh to join West Ham on loan Arsenal look short of options up front.
Villa has seen his opportunities limited since returning from a broken leg and it was widely expected he would be allowed to seek opportunities elsewhere.
However, Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has said potential suitors can forget about signing Spain's all-time leading goalscorer.
"I completely rule out the transfer of Villa during the winter market," Rossell told Catalan radio station RAC1.
"He is ours and we need him, there is a lot of the season left."
Arsenal will now turn their attention elsewhere in what is proving a frustrating January.
Netherlands forward Klaas Jan Huntelaar had been expected to join but instead opted to remain at Schalke by signing a new contract with the German club.
Another loan for Thierry Henry had been mooted but this option has been ruled out.
Atletico Madrid frontman Adrian Lopez and Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente remain possible options for the Gunners.