David De Gea’s £29m move from Manchester United to Real Madrid has collapsed because the necessary paperwork was not submitted in time.
No official announcement has yet been made by either club.
As part of the deal to sell De Gea to Real, United were planning to bring Keylor Navas in the opposite direction.
There is no precedent for Spanish clubs being given additional time to conclude transfers as there is in England.
Blame for the failure to complete the deal is already being apportioned
eports in Spain indicated the documents did not reach the Spanish league office until 28 minutes after the deadline.
Manchester United have told Sky Sports News HQ that they signed and sent all relevant documentation on time and that they have the evidence to prove it.
Real Madrid and United may consider an appeal over the likely cause of the delay, which may include a computer glitch, but there have never been any successful appeals regarding late transfers in the league’s history.
In February this year, Levante lost an attempt to overturn a ruling that cancelled their loan bid for Fulham’s Bryan Ruiz because they had missed the deadline for submission.
Spanish football expert Guillem Balague told Sky Sports News HQ: “La Liga has confirmed that the documents have not reached them on time and, as it stands, the transfer is not going to take place.
“Everything was done and everyone was waiting. David de Gea was at his girlfriend’s house in Madrid, [Real Madrid president] Florentino Perez was at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“Navas was there too and was waiting to pass a medical, and everything was signed and sent to Manchester.
“But the information is that the documentation didn’t come back from Manchester United on time.
“Reports say the Navas paperwork came in at one minute past midnight in Spain and therefore did not reach La Liga on time, so the transfer is not going to happen.
“There is no precedent for this. Three years ago Fabio Coentrao could not go to Manchester United for the exact same reason, and Real asked the league if they could have five more minutes, and the league said ‘no’.
“Nobody expects an extension, so everyone is reporting that the deal has not gone through.”