The David de Gea/Keylor Navas joint deal between Manchester United and Real Madrid on Spanish transfer deadline day (31 August) collapsed as the necessary paperwork did not arrive on time to La Liga. Both clubs are now trying to prove the opposite to Fifa in an attempt to make the deal happen, but precedents, such as the failure of Fabio Coentrao to move to Old Trafford in 2013, suggest that neither club will get their man.
Spanish press have all agreed that the incident was a ridiculous conclusion to a transfer saga that has dragged on for over three months, although different outlets gave different interpretations as to what went wrong. IBTimes UK looks at what the major players in Spanish media had to say about the matter.
The biggest radio station in Spain quoted Real Madrid sources as saying that Manchester United were the ones to blame for the deal collapsing, as they did not send the paperwork in time. They went on to shockingly claim that Real believe the Premier League outfit deliberately delayed everything on purpose as payback for the Sergio Ramos transfer saga, in which many believe the centre-back flirted with them solely to gain a better contract at the La Liga giants.
Cope also blamed United for the "surreal" crisis. The Spanish radio station pinned the finger on the failure of the Old Trafford side to agree personal terms with Navas. The Costa Rica sticksman was unaware of interest from the English team until very late in the day, and although he agreed to a move Manchester United's response to his request for contract negotiations did not arrive in time for the deal to go through.
The famous sports paper, heavily identified with Real Madrid fans, called the situation "ridiculous" and a "smack in the face". They described De Gea as the true victim in the matter, with the keeper finding himself in a very awkward place after publicly pleading for his exit from Old Trafford. While the Spaniard wants to play in Euro 2016, should Louis van Gaal bench him for a season he would surely miss out on that chance.
The other Madrid-based publication also claimed that Navas's contract was the fly in the ointment, with La Liga sources saying the documents arrived with them almost 30 minutes after the close of the window. AS blamed Real president Florentino Perez for delaying negotiations until the final day of the window. Editor Alfredo Relano, in his daily column, vented: "Navas had been a good reserve keeper all season, De Gea played for Van Gaal in one of the most desirable goalkeeping positions in European football. Both have been shabbily used this summer, victims of a Florentino regime with no soul, a tangled mess of interests and compromise where the sense of decency and rigour are absent."
Meanwhile, the two Catalan papers, Mundo Deportivo and Sport, mocked Real Madrid for the role in the matter. "United gave the green light to the move at 11.59pm and Madrid failed to register the player on time. A poor reflection on Real Madrid," Sport said.