Manchester United has fired back in its escalating war of words with Real Madrid, responding to a statement the Spanish club posted to its website on Tuesday which attempted to explain United’s failures in transferring goalkeeper David de Gea to the Bernabeu.
United’s statement, issued as the club “[felt] compelled to provide some clarification,” detailed a timeline which largely paralleled the one in outlined by Real Madrid. However, portraying significant differences in how vital steps were executed, United’s version of events cast blame for the negotiation’s late start and failed conclusion El Real.
SEE MORE: Up-to-the-minute transfer deadline deals.
Disputing Real Madrid’s claim that United started negotiations late, United intimated it was not incumbent on them to being the process, as de Gea “is a key member of our squad and the club’s preference was not to sell.”
United’s statement explained that, by lunchtime in England, an agreement had been reached that was dependent on the successful transfer of goalkeeper Kaylor Navas to Old Trafford. With both de Gea and Navas in Spain, the Spanish club was in control of the process, according to United.
Transfer documents for both players were sent to Real Madrid at 8:42 p.m. England-time, according to United. De Gea’s was returned without a signature page at 10:32 p.m., 28 minutes before the close of Monday’s transfer window. By 10:40 p.m., “major changes to the documentation came through … which immediately put the deals at risk,” and only at 10:55 p.m., five minutes before the deadline, did United receive the documentation needed to cancel de Gea’s preexisting deal.
According to United, Navas’s paperwork was still pending at that point in time. By 10:59 p.m., however, Real Madrid had sent the agreement to United, at which time the team uploaded its documentation into the FIFA Transfer Matching System. Real Madrid, however, did not finished its end of the process, according to United:
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.
The Spanish federation ultimately declined to approve the de Gea transfer, citing Real Madrid’s failure to supply the appropriate paperwork before Monday’s deadline.
Tuesday’s back-and-forth between two of the world’s biggest soccer clubs has overshadowed what’s normally a vibrant transfer deadline day, with rumors of fax machine mishaps, password issues and document format mismatches adding fuel to an already ignited story. But within the low-grade mud slinging that’s transpired from the Iberian peninsula to Britain lies one nugget the Spanish club so far can’t refute. Whereas the Spanish federation has declined to push through the deal on Madrid’s end, United claims the English FA is on board with its version of events. As the two clubs continue to play their digital blame game, that’s one small advantage United can claim in a useless battle.
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