United and Real in war of words over collapse of De Gea deal

Both clubs maintain the other was to blame for failure to complete transfer in time

The fall-out over the failed David De Gea transfer continued late on Tuesday night, with Manchester United and Real Madrid blaming each other for the collapse of the deal.

The main contention between the clubs is the time taken by the opposing party to process the documentation.

This meant the requisite paperwork was not filed in time to beat Monday’s Spanish transfer deadline at 11pm BST.

United believe Real went cold on the transfer at around 7.30pm though this does not square with the Spanish club’s stance that it had done “everything” to ensure the deal could occur.


Each club issued a statement pointing the finger at the other. Real detailed their claims, which ran to 10 points, in the afternoon. United countered last night with nine of their own.

The clubs both said that Real’s Costa Rica goalkeeper, Keylor Navas, should have been part of the transfer for De Gea, though that was the only material detail they agreed on. United had a private jet on standby to bring Navas to Manchester for a medical but claim that Real were obstructive to the goalkeeper travelling.

Summer signing

On the day on which Monaco’s Anthony Martial, 19, was confirmed as Louis van Gaal’s sixth summer signing for €48 million, a record fee for a teenager, United said that the first official bid for De Gea did not come until lunchtime on Monday. This began with a “ridiculous offer“ of €15million plus Navas, senior sources at Old Trafford claim, before the final €40 million bid, which again included the Costa Rican, was reached.

Real had said: “United did not open any channel of negotiation for De Gea until yesterday morning.”

However, it was incumbent on Real as the buying club to do so.

As United said: “Manchester United did not seek contact from Real Madrid for the sale of David. David is a key member of our squad and the club‘s preference was not to sell.”

Real claimed United took eight hours to return documents with modifications that “were not significant [so] ]they were immediately accepted by Real Madrid, with the intention of registering him in time both in the TMS [Fifa’s transfer matching system] and at the LFP [the Spanish league]”.

United responded by saying: “In the last several hours of the process, with Navas at the Real training ground, Real were controlling the documentation processes of David, Navas and Real. Manchester United was in control only of the -documentation of Manchester United.”

A contradiction

The English club also claimed: “David’s documentation was returned by Real Madrid to Manchester United without the signatory page at 2232 BST.”

It is understood this is an irregularity not often experienced.

There seemed to be a contradiction in Real’s statement, which said: “Real Madrid received the complete documentation at 00.02 and tried to access the TMS but that was already closed.”

It then said: “At 00.26 Spanish time, the TMS automated system invited Real Madrid to complete the details of David de Gea, given that the registration period in England is open until today.“

United pointed to this when closing their statement: “The fact that Manchester United filed the papers on time was acknowledged by the Football Association, who offered to support that claim in any discussions with Fifa.”

As it was, both clubs decided not to appeal.

His professionalism

United have confirmed they are delighted to have kept De Gea. They understand he will take time to adjust to still being at the club. However his presence in the dressing room before and after matches has been noted as an indicator of his professionalism.

And Louis van Gaal is keen to reinstate him provided the player can again reach the levels that have made him the club’s player of the year for the past two seasons.

(Guardian service)