Stuttgart have announced a loan agreement with Barcelona for midfielder Alex Hleb.

Hleb had been expected to be part of the exchange deal which saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto'o switch allegiances earlier this week.

But the former Arsenal star has opted against joining the Cameroon forward at the San Siro due to the limited prospects of regular football under Jose Mourinho, and instead decided to return to the Bundesliga.

"I have opted for VfB (Stuttgart) because the team has great potential and I am convinced that we can achieve a lot together," the 28-year-old said.

Stuttgart general manager Horst Heldt added: "We have signed a world class player with Alexander Hleb. He will increase the quality of our squad even further."