In all likelihood, Keylor Navas had a worse Monday than you did. His boss, Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez, made it clear he didn’t want him. But then he failed to get rid of the player, sealing a now-forced relationship that must be about as awkward as living with a spouse after a divorce filing.
Even though Navas made it clear he wanted to stay in Madrid, he was told to pack his bags for Manchester, England. But the roller coaster ride didn’t end there. Real Madrid and Manchester United failed to send in the transfer paperwork before the midnight deadline, meaning Navas will stay put for at least the remainder of the season.
This all came 48 hours after the fans at Santiago Bernabéu chanted Navas’ name on Saturday when the goalkeeper blocked a penalty kick and helped Madrid to a 5-0 win over La Liga foe Real Betis.
Real Madrid’s officials released a statement on Tuesday in an attempt to explain what went wrong with the botched deal. They claim that Manchester United didn’t consider a deal to swap Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea until yesterday, despite the fact that Pérez and Madrid never hid their desire to bring De Gea back home.
When the clubs reached a deal to swap De Gea for Navas, Real Madrid’s authorities claim that Manchester United sent the contract for De Gea eight hours late. By the time Madrid was able to get a signature from Navas agreeing to go to Manchester United, it was already 11:53 p.m. local time, according to the statement. They claim that they didn’t receive De Gea’s paperwork to finalize the transfer through FIFA’s official system until 12:02 a.m. on Tuesday morning, meaning the deal was two minutes too late. The club’s officials later came out and said they will not appeal the declined transfer.
The strange debacle that played out yesterday does not look good for either club. But for Pérez and Real Madrid, who have been interested in acquiring De Gea all summer, it looks especially bad. Not only has Navas been brilliant on the field in preseason play and at the start of the season, but he’s been a professional off the field. The same can’t be said of the 24-year-old De Gea, who was benched by coach Luis Van Gaal. The coach cited De Gea’s “lack of focus” as the reason he’s yet to play in any of Manchester United’s six games. Van Gaal said De Gea told him in a private meeting that he didn’t want to be on Manchester United’s team anymore.
And like with any live soap opera that plays out in front of our eyes, the reactions from the Twitter world were golden:
This could be an actual transcript.
RM(11:50):we want De gea MU(11:54):what? RM(11:55):send the documents MU(11:57):what RM(11:59):Send De gea's documents MU(12:01):Oh ok
— Football Funnys (@FootballFunnys) August 31, 2015
This would explain a lot.
Don't worry, I'll deliver it in my car. pic.twitter.com/j8AJ7ZEHTM
— AS English (@English_AS) August 31, 2015
A quote from De Gea in 2011, at the end of a stint for Real Madrid’s rival Atlético Madrid, doesn’t look so prescient right about now.
— Soccer Gods (@soccergods) September 1, 2015
For some reason this seemingly obscure Tweet got a lot of Retweets on Monday night. Wonder why?
Un minuto añadido / One minute added time
— Real Madrid C. F. (@realmadrid) February 26, 2011
David Faitelson, a football analyst for ESPN Deportes, said in a tweet Tuesday: “He’s already a good goalie, but the mistreatment by Madrid towards Keylor Navas will only make him stronger.”
Buen portero ya es, pero los maltratos del Madrid hacia Keylor Navas deberán hacerlo mucho más fuerte…
— David Faitelson (@Faitelson_ESPN) September 1, 2015
Football reporter Tomás Roncero of Spain’s AS had this simple message in response to Monday’s disaster:
— Tomás Roncero (@As_TomasRoncero) August 31, 2015