Yesterday, the transfer window *slammed* shut. (Except in various countries where it’s still ajar. Ajar, for those of you without access to Merriam-Webster, means open. As in not cosed. Not air-tight. A bit like Sergio Romero in goal.)
But it did close on the David De Gea transfer epic.
Forget Raheem Sterling to Manchester City. Ignore Mario Balotelli to AC Milan. De Gea from Manchester United to Real Madrid was more on-again, off-again than any of Simon’s relationships. And now, like his love life, it looks very, very off.
The past 24 hours have been fun.
We live in a modern age where information zips around the globe in microseconds. One can download a full movie—either Hollywood or pornographic—in a matter of minutes, so when two multi-national companies worth billions of dollars are negotiating, it would go smoothly. Or so you’d think. Both sides left it so late that they somehow missed yesterday’s 6 p.m. EST deadline.
Here’s exclusive footage of Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward preparing the contract.
The scenes at the Bernabeau were equally tense.
Real Madrid had to file the paperwork with the Spanish league by midnight. Club administrators were refreshing their inboxes every second. People waited by the fax machine. The Fed-Ex van idled outside. A raven from the Maester at Winterfell circled as the clock ticked closer to the witching hour … and passed midnight.
Who’d have thought, but the Spanish league announced that the paperwork had not arrived in time. So the deal was off. De Gea is staying in Manchester, and Keylor Navas (the goalkeeper set to head the other way) is stuck in Madrid. Nobody was very happy.
Here’s a fly-on-the-wall view of the lot outside the Bernabeau.
Real Madrid countered that it had electronic proof that it had sent the documents at 11:59 p.m. and would ask the league to reconsider. And if that wasn’t bad enough, it then suggested that nobody could open the attachment file that Manchester United originally sent. Gotta update Adobe, people.
Entirely unrelated, here’s a word from one of Madrid’s sponsors.