San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Keylor Navas

UPDATE: Keylor Navas to remain at Real Madrid after transfer deal not sent on time, local media reports

UPDATE, Monday, Aug. 31, 4:50 p.m.:

Costa Rica’s all-star goalkeeper Keylor Navas apparently will remain at Real Madrid after transfer papers were not sent on time before the deadline ended at midnight local time, according to a report from Spanish football diary Marca. The botched transfer that would have sent Navas to Manchester United in exchange for goalkeeper David De Gea means Navas must stay in Madrid for at least the remainder of the season.

After keeping a blank sheet in Real Madrid’s first two games, the unflappable Navas is now pressed with the awkward situation of playing for a president in Florentino Pérez who he knows would rather have De Gea. Earlier in the day on Monday, “Los Merengues” agreed to pay around 30 million euros to buy out De Gea and ship Navas to Manchester for at least 12 million euros.

Navas’ current contract with Madrid remains intact and runs until 2020.

Original story continues here:

Months of speculation regarding the future of Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas ended with a bang on transfer deadline day Monday. With just hours remaining before the transfer window closed in Europe, Real Madrid finally came to an agreement with England’s Manchester United to bring home goalie David De Gea in exchange for Navas, according to the Spanish football news outlet Marca.

Reports from Spain said that Navas wanted to continue playing with Real Madrid, who he’s helped to a pair of shutouts to begin the season, as long as he’d be the top option in goal. However, president Florentino Pérez never concealed his desire to sign the 24-year-old De Gea, who was born in Madrid.

De Gea’s contract at Manchester United was slated to end next June and he would have been able to leave the club without penalty at the start of 2016. But buyout clauses have never deterred Real Madrid, the most lucrative club in the world, from getting a player they wanted. Following Navas’ spectacular play in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, “Los Merengues” signed the Costa Rican after paying his former club Levante 10 million euros for his contract rights.

The Marca report says that Manchester United will pay between 12 million to 15 million euros to buy out Navas and his salary could double from the current rate of 3 million euros per year.

According to The Guardian, Real Madrid agreed to buy De Gea’s contract for 29.3 million euros after United initially requested a 35 million euro buyout, which would have been the most expensive deal for a goalkeeper in history.

Manchester United manager Luis Van Gaal recently grew frustrated with De Gea, benching him before the season when he said the keeper had lost focus. Van Gaal said Thursday that the Spaniard told him he didn’t want to play with the Reds any longer.

“We had been observing him in preparation, he was not so good, he was not the same David de Gea as before,” Van Gaal said at a recent press conference.

Navas will now fight for a starting position at Man U with Argentina’s Sergio Romero, who has started all six games in goal for the Reds. In Sunday’s loss to Swansea City, however, Romero received a downpour of criticism for letting a seemingly easy stop slip by into the goal to give Swansea the 2-1 win. Man U is currently 4-1-1 in the English Premier League.

Spain’s soccer daily AS reported that Navas delayed his flight to Costa Rica in order to finalize his contract situation Monday. He was scheduled to join the Costa Rica men’s national team this week as they set out for the United States, where they will play a friendly in New Jersey against Brazil on Saturday.

Despite keeping a clean sheet through two games and looking brilliant in preseason as Real Madrid’s new starter, the 28-year-old Costa Rican was always facing an uphill battle to establish himself in Madrid’s goal. Team president Pérez had been vocal about his hope to sign De Gea and replace the club’s greatest goalie of all-time, Iker Casillas, with another Spaniard.

Contact Michael Krumholtz at mkrumholtz@ticotimes.net

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