David De Gea is almost certainly not going to be a Real Madrid player, despite a long summer of negotiations and a deal being reached on Monday. There was a dispute over whether or not his transfer went through in time, and the club have blamed Manchester United for not getting the deal done.
For the completely uninitiated, De Gea is a goalkeeper under contract to Manchester United. This is the final year of his contract, so if he's not sold, he will leave the club on a free transfer. They've offered him a contract extension and he's turned it down. He wants to go to Real Madrid.
Because De Gea can join them for free next year, Madrid haggled over the price instead of paying what United wanted for arguably the best goalkeeper in the world. On Monday, the deadline for making transfers in Spain, Madrid and United finally resumed negotiations. They had the entire summer to get the deal done and waited until there were about 12 hours left in the transfer window. The result is that they finished the deal at around 12:02 a.m. CET, two minutes after the deadline. Madrid submitted paperwork to La Liga afterwards, and they rejected it.
Here's a running timeline of this disaster.
Cool, probably getting done.
We have a deal
Yep, definitely getting done.
Then a bunch of time passes and we wonder where the confirmation is. It never comes.
Reports emerge that Manchester United didn't submit their paperwork on time
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
David De Gea is going to cry
UPDATE: De Gea Madrid move aborted; documents fail to arrive in time http://t.co/iRuNHkYrsy player reported to be "distraught".— AS English (@English_AS) August 31, 2015
As we are explaining in @AlPrimerToque the presentation was organised for 1pm tomorrow and de Gea even had a special suit for it— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) August 31, 2015
Real Madrid says the deal was done at 11:59 p.m.
If it was done at 12:00 a.m. exactly, no one knows what the hell that means.
So now @SkySports are saying the deal was completed at 24:00, but the LFP is unsure whether that falls within the accepted period.— Maxi Rodriguez (@FutbolIntellect) August 31, 2015
United and the LFP use different document systems, we guess
Now we are hearing that United did send the documents on time but in a format that couldn't be opened at the LFP. Windows 95?— AS English (@English_AS) August 31, 2015
Or maybe it was a password protection problem?
Marca, "...the documents sent by #mufc couldn't be opened as they were password protected" Brilliant. Just brilliant.— ZippyPenguin (@Zippy_Penguin) August 31, 2015
Oh god this explains everything
Manchester United wants you to think it's Real Madrid or LFP's fault
So had it confirmed #MUFC did their bit & registered De Gea transfer on FIFA TMS. Real Madrid failed to register in time with LFP— Greg Stobart (@gstobart) August 31, 2015
Real Madrid generally can make things happen if they want to
... 2/2 ... Now comes down to basic question: can RM persuade LFP to register him despite late arrival? (I would guess so but don't know)— Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) August 31, 2015
Real Madrid forwarded the contracts to Real Madrid at 13:39. Manchester United sent its comments on the contracts eight hours later, at 21:43 Spanish time, including minor modifications ... In short, Real Madrid has done everything needed, and at all times, to carry out these two transfers.
• 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 2042 BST. David's documentation was returned by Real Madrid to Manchester United without the signatory page at 2232 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 2255 BST were the documents that are needed to cancel David's contract received by Manchester United from Real Madrid.
This might be over, but it's not obvious
RM's statement does not confirm that they won't appeal but it does basically confirm (indirectly) that they wouldn't have grounds for appeal— Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) September 1, 2015
If there's a dispute, FIFA can look at it
La Liga says the documents did not arrive on time. Fifa will look at the case tomorrow. Both RM and United pushing for it to happen— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) August 31, 2015
This post will be updated as new information becomes available.