After a month of having the best seat in the house at Old Trafford, Manchester United keeper David de Gea may soon be back on the pitch for the Red Devils, an unlikely ending to a strange transfer window soap opera.
As the transfer window closed on Tuesday, September 1, what appears to be an issue with paperwork led to a snafu that in the end kept de Gea in the Premier League and at least postponed a move to Real Madrid.
While the news of de Gea not moving to the Santiago Bernabéu rippled across the football world, Real Madrid and Manchester United then pointed fingers at each other. Below are the statements from the two clubs.
From Real Madrid…
- Manchester United did not open any channel of negotiation over the federative rights of David de Gea until yesterday morning.
- Real Madrid, despite the difficulties entailed in carrying out a deal of these characteristics on the final day of registration, agreed to begin these talks.
- When Manchester United agreed to negotiate yesterday morning, they made it subject to reaching an agreement with Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas for the player to join the British club from this season, and stated that they were in contact with the aforementioned player’s representatives.
- Real Madrid and Manchester United quickly reached an agreement for the transfers of both players. Following the drawing up of the relevant contractual documentation required, and with the purpose of proceeding with enough time to process both FIFA’s Transfer Matching System (TMS) and the registration with the Liga de Fútbol Profesional, Real Madrid sent Manchester United the contracts at 13.39 Spanish time.
- Manchester United sent their remarks regarding the aforementioned contracts eight hours later, at 21.43 Spanish time, including minor modifications. As these modifications were not significant, they were all accepted immediately by Real Madrid, with the intention of being able to register the player on time both via the TMS and with the Liga de Fútbol Profesional.
- Real Madrid, having obtained the signatures of the players De Gea and Keylor Navas, sent the British club the aforementioned signed contracts at 23:32 Spanish time, before waiting to receive the final documents signed by Manchester United.
- Manchester United reached a final agreement with the representatives of Keylor Navas at 23:53 Spanish time, and it is at this point that the contracts were sent to the player to be signed.
- Manchester United entered the details of the David de Gea deal, not those of Keylor Navas, at 00:00 Spanish time, simultaneously sending Real Madrid the signed transfer contracts. Real Madrid received this complete documentation at 00:02 and attempted to access the TMS, but it was now closed.
- At 00:26 Spanish time, FIFA’s TMS invited Real Madrid to fill out the details of the player David de Gea, as the period of registration in England remains open until today. Real Madrid, given the possibility of an administrative dispute over the player’s transfer, decided to send the contracts to the Liga de Fútbol Profesional, despite the knowledge that the deadline had passed.
- In short, Real Madrid did everything necessary at all times to complete both transfers.
From Manchester United…
- 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.
- No offer was received for David until yesterday.
- At lunchtime yesterday, Real Madrid made its first offer to buy David. A deal was agreed between the clubs, which included Navas being transferred to Old Trafford. The deals were dependent on each other.
- In the last several hours of the process, with Navas at the Real Madrid training ground, Real Madrid were controlling the documentation processes of David, Navas and Real Madrid. Manchester United was in control only of the documentation of Manchester United.
- Manchester United sent transfer documents for both players to Real Madrid at 20:42 BST. David’s documentation was returned by Real Madrid to Manchester United without the signatory page at 22:32 BST.
- At 22:40 BST, minutes before the deadline, major changes to the documentation came through to Manchester United which immediately put the deals at risk.
- Only at 22:55 BST were the documents that are needed to cancel David’s contract received by Manchester United from Real Madrid.
- At this point Navas’ documentation was still not returned by Real Madrid.
- At 22:58 BST, the transfer agreement was sent back by Manchester United, uploaded onto TMS and accepted – all before the deadline.
- It is our understanding that the deals couldn’t happen because: Real Madrid didn’t upload David’s documents onto TMS in time (Manchester United did) Real Madrid didn’t upload David’s documents to the Spanish league in time, per reports it seems some 28 minutes after the deadline
- 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. The club offered this assistance, as well as its own timestamped documents to Real Madrid but they have chosen not to go down this route.
- Manchester United acts appropriately and efficiently in its transfer dealings. The club is delighted that its fan-favourite double Player of the Year, David de Gea, remains a Manchester United player