David De Gea’s move from Manchester United to Real Madrid was all but complete, the transfer fee was agreed upon and reported around the world. Instead, the deal has completely fallen apart and the Spanish goalkeeper will be staying at Old Trafford.
The last 24 hours have been very tumultuous for De Gea. The Spaniard must have thought that he was really going to put on a Real Madrid jersey. However, he found out hours later that he would have to stay in Manchester. This begs the question, what really happened between the two teams after the deal was done?
The answer is simple, one of the teams failed to hand in the required paperwork on time. Real Madrid and Manchester United both claim they did everything necessary to make sure the transaction was complete, but someone isn’t telling the truth.
The reported fee for the 24-year-old was $45 million(£29.5 million) and Real Madrid agreed to throw in their backup goalkeeper Keylor Navas to sweeten the deal. Manchester United had just sold goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard to West Brom, so losing De Gea would mean a tremendous lack of depth at that position.
The arrangement went awry partly because the Spanish Deadline Day ends 12 hours earlier than it does in England. Sky Sports provided the timeline as to what went down according to Real Madrid:
1. Man Utd agreed to start negotiations yesterday (Monday).
2. Real Madrid initiated conversation.
3. Man Utd would only do deal if it included Navas.
4. Both clubs agree deal and Madrid send documents to Man Utd at 12.39pm (BST).
5. United replied at 8.39pm asking for some changes, which Madrid agree to immediately.
6. Madrid send contracts to Man Utd at 10.32pm and wait for Man Utd to send them back signed.
7. Man Utd agree deal with Navas at 10.53pm, and then contract sent to Navas to sign.
8. Man Utd logged in on TMS to log details of De Gea deal, not Navas, at 11pm (deadline point in Spain) and simultaneously send contracts to Madrid. Madrid receive documents at 11.02pm and tries to access TMS but is closed down.
9. 11.26pm – TMS invites Madrid to introduce details of De Gea because the transfer deadline is next day. Madrid, in case there was room to complete a deal, decide to send contracts to league even though they know the deadline has passed.
10. Madrid have done everything they could at all times for deal to take place.
This isn’t the first time that a transaction has failed at the deadline between the two teams. The same thing happened with former Real Madrid left back Fabio Coentrao who was supposed to join Manchester United back in 2013. Perhaps Manchester United was looking for a little revenge from that same scenario two years ago.
This whole situation could have been avoided if these leagues had the same deadline at the same time. Real Madrid wanted De Gea badly, it makes complete sense for them to do everything possible to sign the Spaniard.
Manchester United obviously didn’t want to let go of one of their most prized possessions. All Manchester United had to do was procrastinate a couple of hours and prevent the paperwork from getting through on time. Any team would hate to downgrade from David De Gea to Keylor Navas.
It is difficult to determine what happened behind closed doors and the idea that Manchester United colluded is merely speculation. However, Real Madrid have every right to be upset at what occurred.
Manchester United will be more than content to keep David De Gea, he was the team’s best player last season and has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
De Gea must have been heartbroken after hearing the news, Real Madrid was his favorite club as a boy. De Gea was actually at his girlfriend’s house in Madrid anxiously waiting for this deal to officially get done.
In the span of a couple hours De Gea essentially went from the sunny skies of Madrid to the dreary skies of Manchester. It’ll be interesting to see how committed David De Gea will be to Manchester United after this whole ordeal, but if he does decide to hold out it would only hurt his value.
Real Madrid may be able to try again during the January transfer window or they’ll just have to wait 9 more months to sign him during the summer.