De Gea to Madrid? The Controversy after the Long Wait

Real Madrid have pointed accusing fingers at Manchester United over their failure to land goalkeeper David De Gea before Monday’s midnight transfer deadline in Spain.

Manchester United had included in the deal to sell De Gea to Real, that Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas move in the opposite direction, but the La Liga giants say paperwork did not arrive at the Spanish league in time for it to be entered before the closure of the Fifa transfer Matching System (TMS) as required.

“In short, Real Madrid did everything necessary at all times to complete both transfers,” a statement on the Los Merengues’ website concluded.

Fifa rules states that players can be registered only during one of the two annual transfer periods, except when their contract has expired before the end of a registration period.

For a player to transfer to another country, their prospective club and his previous club have to submit certain details and documentations to the TMS.

An International Transfer Certificate (ITC) is therefore generated by the system, allowing the player’s registration to be completed from one country to another.

Fifa have refused to comment on what its spokesperson has reportedly termed a “hypothetical scenario” and Manchester United have yet to issue a response to the Real statement.

This means De Gea, whose deal with United expires at the end of the season after which he can leave on a free, could be unsettled at the Premier League club until January 2016, when the other transfer period opens.

David De Gea Has One Year Left in His Current Contract at Man Utd. Image: EPA.
David De Gea Has One Year Left in His Current Contract at Man Utd. Image: EPA.

The former Atletico Madrid shot stopper, 24, has yet to feature for United this season, with Argentina international Sergio Romero occupying his place.

‘De Gea to Real Madrid’ is one transfer speculation which has lingered longer that the ‘return of Jesus Christ’ throughout the summer transfer window, with the ten-time European champions looking for a long-term replacement for former club captain, Iker Cassilas, who joined FC Porto in July. But where did it really go wrong?

Blame it on Man United

A statement on Real website said United had waited until Monday to start talks on a possible De Gea move to the Estadio Santiago Bernebeu.

The Madrid giants said initial agreement was reached not quite longer than they had reached an agreement and that they sent the contracts to United at 1:39pm Spanish time (1139GMT).

They were sent back with “minor but insignificant modifications” eight hours later, and were accepted over there in Madrid.

Real then sent the contracts signed by De Gea and Navas back to Man United for their signature at 2132GMT – 28 minutes to the transfer deadline in Spain.

United entered the details of De Gea’s transfer into the TMS at exactly midnight Spanish time but did not register that of Navas’ deal, according to the statement.

“Real Madrid received this complete documentation at 00:02 and attempted to access the TMS, but it was now closed,” the statement continued.

Half an hour later than the transfer deadline had closed; TMS gave them a last chance to register the deal and Real sent the documents to the Spanish league even though they knew the deadline had passed.