NO DEAL: David de Gea’s transfer to Real Madrid falls through as Man United paperwork arrives too late


What in the world is going on at Manchester United? Whatever is happening, “Fergie time” got a new meaning on Monday.

[ MORE Monday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

According to multiple reports earlier in the day — like, well before noon ET — the two clubs had agreed a deal in which United would send De Gea, who has just one year left on his current contract and desperately wants a move back to his hometown, to Madrid for a fee of $44 million as well as Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

[ DONE DEALS: Recapping Man United (and others’) very busy Monday ]

It seemed a win-win for everybody involved after what has been a summer-long saga — United not only receive a hefty fee for a player in the final year of his contract, but they receive a capable replacement for said player, as well; and Madrid finally land a superstar to fill the one Galactico-less position in their starting XI, goalkeeper.

[ JPW’S PL Playback: It’s time to change the rules of the transfer window ]

Fast forward eight hours to Monday evening, and the Spanish transfer window has officially closed with the necessary paperwork for De Gea to complete his dream move having not been submitted before the transfer deadline in Spain. Thus, the deal is off and De Gea will remain at United until January, at least.

This is a colossal blunder by chief executive Ed Woodward and Co., as Louis van Gaal would be forced to either play a miserably unhappy player for the next four months, or continue to leave one of world’s best goalkeepers out of his gameday squad week after week until he can be sold at long last during the January transfer window.

Madrid will, presumably, appeal to the Spanish football authorities to have the decision overturned.