David de Gea faces an uncertain situation at Manchester United after his highly anticipated move to Real Madrid fell through in the last few minutes of transfer deadline day. Madrid were confident that they had their man after long hours of negotiation with United. However, late response from the Premier League club over minor details has led to the transfer being missed by just two minutes. After being highly reluctant to sell the former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper throughout the transfer window, United had thought to have agreed to the deal since they would also receive Keylor Navas.
Navas has been the first choice for Madrid since the departure of Iker Casillas. Both clubs have not disclosed to the transfer fee agreed, but it is believed to be in the region of £29 million. United have offered De Gea a new contract but it is highly unlikely that the player would accept the deal with just 12 months left on his current contract. He will be able to negotiate terms with Madrid from January. However, his situation at Old Trafford until then remains a major doubt. Spanish football expert Guillem Balague said:
“Reports say the De Gea 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.”
Due to the public interest surrounding the situation, Louis van Gaal has so far kept the 24-year-old out of the public eye. He has not featured for United this season with summer signing Sergio Romero being the first choice. Van Gaal may bring back De Gea to the starting line-up but at the expense of a shattered confidence to Romero. If De Gea does not sign a new contract and joins Madrid in the next transfer window or next summer, it would be difficult to get Romero feel like a valued member of the squad. The Argentine has already committed a high-profile mistake in the recent 2-1 defeat against Swansea City.
Madrid could lodged an appeal with Fifa over the deadline being missed due to United being late with sending the necessary paperwork. However, the blame game has already started with both parties blaming each other for the last-minute failure. Both United and Madrid still remain in a strong position as far as goalkeepers are concerned. De Gea could be the biggest affected in this saga, as he may be mentally affected by the furore around his future.
United head straight into a mammoth derby against Liverpool at Old Trafford in their next game. It would be highly unlikely to see De Gea being recalled in such a high profile game.