Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea agreed to a €40 million ($44 million) deal with Real Madrid on Monday, but the trade went awry when the paperwork was not completed in time to make the Spanish transfer deadline.
Both clubs issued statements on Tuesday detailing their versions of the timeline leading up to the deadline, beginning with Real Madrid stating they completed all paperwork in time to make the trade. Manchester United later refuted claims that they caused the late paperwork submission.
In Real Madrid’s statement, the club outlined the timeline of the negotiations with Manchester United for de Gea, saying Manchester did not open negotiations until Monday morning and was not expedient in the way they handled the process. The deadline for player transfer was Monday at midnight.
The two clubs quickly reached an agreement for de Gea to join Real Madrid and for goalkeeper Keylor Navas to join Manchester United, Real Madrid said, but Manchester United delayed in returning the contracts Real Madrid had sent for eight hours.
Manchester United reached an agreement with the representatives of Keylor Navas at 11:53 p.m. Spanish time and then sent the contracts to the player to be signed.
United entered de Gea’s details, but not Nava’s into the Transfer Matching System (TSM) at exactly midnight. Real Madrid received the signed transfer contracts at 12:02 a.m., after the TSM was closed.
“In short, Real Madrid did everything necessary at all times to complete both transfers,” they wrote in the statement.
In Manchester United’s statement, the club said no offer for David was received until “lunchtime” Monday. It also said paperwork mistakes by Real Madrid—including a missing signatory in the documentation for de Gea’s transfer—and “major changes to the documentation” that were sent late to Manchester United affected the deal.
Manchester United also said the FA offered to support the claim that the club filed their papers on time.
- Xandria James and Mike Fiammetta