It was all meant to reach it’s inevitable conclusion, David De Gea was meant to join the club he loves, Real Madrid. Manchester United in return would receive £29 million including current Real Madrid first choice goalkeeper Keylor Navas. The saga, which had played out since De Gea refused to sign a new contract with Manchester United, still contained one final turn though.
It was all going so swimmingly until out of nowhere came a flood of tweets, the first I saw being this, from respected journalist Guillem Balague:
The documents did not arrive on time!!!!!! Presentation was ready. All agreed. But as it stands de Gea stays at MUFC!!
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) August 31, 2015
Since the news unfurled, Real Madrid and Manchester United have been at loggerheads as for who is to blame. Real Madrid drew the first blow with a 10 point statement blaming Manchester United for submitting the paperwork late and amending contracts deep into the negotiations.
Manchester United immediately hit back the following day with their own statement, criticising Real Madrid’s filling out of the paperwork and reluctance to include Keylor Navas in the deal. One thing Man United have said, however, is that they have proof all documentation was sent on time and have the backing of the FA.
Many have been left wondering what went on with this deal? How can two of the largest clubs in world football fail to complete a deal despite agreeing terms? Well both clubs admit Real Madrid initiated contact on Monday 31st August regarding the purchase of De Gea. A deal was agreed, based on Navas joining United plus an undisclosed fee.
This is when it gets messy, Real Madrid state Manchester United made large adjustments to the contract later in the day, Man United declare this is the other way around. Again, both clubs are in agreement that Manchester United submitted De Gea’s details to FIFA’s Transfer Matching System. Los Blancos state the Red Devils did this with minutes to spare, not leaving Madrid enough time to complete their side of the transfer.
With the deadline passed and TMS closed, Madrid send the documentation to Liga BBVA just incase there was a chance of completing the deal. Unsurprisingly they are not able to sign De Gea and the clubs went back to reality.
Who’s worse off from this transfer failure?
In this scenario both clubs will be gutted the deal wasn’t able to be completed. Despite Manchester United holding on to their double player of the year, they will be unhappy that they are bound to lose him to Madrid for absolutely nothing next summer.
On the other hand Real Madrid will be unhappy to be heading into this domestic campaign without the Spanish stopper, seen by many as the long term successor to Iker Casillas. Even the money saved won’t be seen as a bonus by them, reports came out a week ago stating De Gea would instead receive a huge signing on bonus if he agreed pre contract terms with the club.
Ultimately the biggest victim of this breakdown is David himself. The goalkeeper, previously regarded as the best in the Premier League, now finds himself in limbo with the club. Louis Van Gaal has yet to play the Spaniard this season amongst the transfer controversy. If the Dutchman continues this trend, De Gea will find himself out of form and possibly out of the Spanish squad. In a normal season this would be hard to take, but in a season leading up to the European Championships it would be heartbreaking.
This saga has seen De Gea fall from the top of his game to a potential outcast at the club he was seen as the saviour at just two seasons ago. Whether he will remain at Manchester United looks unlikely, though De Gea will certainly try to find his top form if he is given opportunities for the Red Devils this season.