Andres Iniesta appears resigned to the fact that Barcelona will not sign Cesc Fabregas for another 12 months after wishing his Spanish compatriot well at Arsenal for the forthcoming campaign.
Barca's pursuit of the midfielder has provided one of the transfer sagas of the summer but the Gunners have held firm and rebuffed interest.
Pep Guardiola is pessimistic over his side's chances of securing Fabregas and Barca midfielder Iniesta accepts that a move is not going to happen.
He has spoken to Fabregas and hopes the 23-year-old can lead Arsenal to Premier League glory this season.
"Cesc wants to be with us, but he told me how close the Arsenal fans are to his heart," Iniesta told the News of the World.
"He is a special player and I hope he wins the title at Arsenal this season.
"For them to win Cesc will have to stay fit and injury-free but he deserves to finish with a title.
"For all the work he has put in at Arsenal it would be a shame if it was all fruitless.
"I have seen time after time Lionel Messi win games for Barcelona when the rest of the team have not been on form and Cesc can do that for Arsenal this season."
Iniesta believes it would be a fitting send-off for Fabregas if he could win the league with Arsenal before joining Barca next year.
"Cesc is such a special player that he could carry a team to the title on his own and I hope he does it this coming season," he said.
"It would be brilliant if Arsenal's hero could lift the title as captain during his last season
"I think that it would be fantastic for everybody."