Two of the world’s most powerful sports clubs thought they had completed a transfer that would send star goalkeeper David De Gea from Manchester United to Real Madrid. But the deal fell through when some of the paperwork was sent one minute after the deadline.
According to Daniel Taylor of The Guardian, one of the documents that needed to be submitted to the La Liga offices in Spain was faxed from Manchester United to Real Madrid at 11:59 p.m., one minute before the strict transfer deadline. When that document was forwarded by Real Madrid to La Liga it was received one minute after the deadline.
The deal is believed to have been for £22 million ($33 million).
According to The Guardian report, Manchester United officials say they have proof that all documents were submitted before the midnight deadline and blame Real Madrid “for waiting so long to arrange a transfer that has been in the offing for several months.”
According to Adam Shergold of the Daily Mail, the documents Manchester United faxed to Real Madrid at 11:59 p.m. required De Gea’s signature, which was obtained by Real Madrid and not returned to United until 11:32 p.m. Spanish time.
The 24-year-old keeper from Spain is said to be “distraught.”
United will reportedly welcome back their keeper for the remainder of the season but they are now stuck with with a star player who can now leave next summer as a free agent.