Manchester United have turned claims that they were late submitting documents for David de Gea's failed move to Real Madrid back on them.
Real Madrid are to blame over their failure to land David de Gea before La Liga's transfer deadline, a defensive statement from Manchester United has claimed.
Spain goalkeeper De Gea had been expected to move to the Bernabeu throughout the transfer window, but the switch - which would have seen Keylor Navas move to Old Trafford - failed to materialise as the Spanish window shut on Monday.
Real were quick to point the finger of blame at United on Tuesday, claiming late submission of documents to FIFA's Transfer Matching System from Old Trafford held the deal up - but the Premier League club have suggested dithering in Madrid was the root cause.
United's statement reads in full below:
- Manchester United did not seek contact from Real Madrid for the sale of David. David is a key member of our squad and the club's preference was not to sell.
- No offer was received for David until yesterday.
- At lunchtime yesterday, Real Madrid made its first offer to buy David. A deal was agreed between the clubs, which included Navas being transferred to Old Trafford. The deals were dependent on each other.
- 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 2240 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.
- At this point Navas' documentation was still not returned by Real Madrid.
- At 2258 BST, the transfer agreement was sent back by Manchester United, uploaded onto TMS and accepted - all before the deadline.
- 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 time-stamped documents to Real Madrid but they have chosen not to go down this route.
- Manchester United acts appropriately and efficiently in its transfer dealings. The club is delighted that its fan-favourite double Player of the Year, David de Gea, remains a Manchester United player.