Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea’s proposed transfer to Real Madrid appeared to be scuppered on Monday night as the move was not listed in the transfers registered by the Spanish Professional League.
Madrid seemed set to conclude the long-running transfer saga with a deal that would see the Spanish giants pay up to 30 million euros for De Gea, with Costa Rican international goalkeeper Keylor Navas moving to United.
Florentino Perez trying to open the David De Gea paperwork at 23:59… https://t.co/BAJ2xcSFaa
— BreatheSport (@BreatheSport) August 31, 2015
Initial reports suggested that the documentation needed to formalise the transfer wasn’t completed before the Spanish transfer window closed at midnight local time (02:00 GST).
However, subsequent reports in the Spanish media claimed Madrid will attempt to demonstrate to the football authorities that all the documentation was in place before the deadline.
De Gea has just one year left on his contract at Old Trafford meaning he could join Madrid for free next year if the transfer doesn’t go through now.
The Spanish international hasn’t featured in any of United’s six games so far this season with manager Louis van Gaal claiming the 24-year-old wasn’t focused at the English giants due to Madrid’s interest.
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The 10-time European champions were in the market for a goalkeeper after Spain captain Iker Casillas ended his 25-year association with the club by moving to Porto in July.
De Gea joined United from Real’s city rivals Atletico Madrid in 2011 and despite a shaky start went on to shine, winning the club’s fans’ and players’ player of the year awards for the past two seasons.
However, he refused to sign a new deal with United due to his desire to return to Spain with Real.
A standoff between the two clubs ensued with United also expressing their interest in Real captain Sergio Ramos over the summer before he ended speculation over his future by signing a new five-year deal with Los Blancos.
Manchester City have clinched the signing of Belgian attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne from Wolfsburg.
The 24-year-old former Chelsea player had been a prime transfer window target of City boss Manuel Pellegrini who can now integrate him into the Barclays Premier League leaders’ squad.
De Bruyne has signed a six-year contract, his new club announced. Pellegrini said on City’s website: “We are very happy to have added Kevin to our team and I have no doubt that he will be a big success on his return to the Premier League.
“It takes a special footballer to improve our squad and I have no doubt that Kevin is certainly one of those – he has all of the mental, physical, tactical and technical attributes required to fit straight in.
“We like to play attractive, attacking football and bringing in a player like De Bruyne will only aid us as we fight on four fronts.”
The fee has not been announced but reports have suggested City may have gone as high as £58million (Dhs327.8m) with their offer, eclipsing the £49million (Dhs277m) club-record price paid for Raheem Sterling earlier in the summer.
The Belgian international will wear the no.17 shirt and followsSterling, Fabian Delph and Nicolas Otamendi in moving to the Etihad this summer.
De Bruyne told the club’s website: “I want to reach the highest level possible as a player and I think the most important thing is that at the end of the season we can be happy and maybe have some titles.
“I think this is the most important for the Club, the players and for the fans of course.”
Jose Mourinho refused to comment on Chelsea’s pursuit of John Stones after admitting the Premier League champions had practised their defending this week.
The Blues are understood to have had four bids rejected so far – although Everton refused to confirm the latest reported £37 million offer – and are unlikely to lodge a further bid before Tuesday’s 18:00 (21:00, UAE time) deadline.
“I don’t speak about players from other teams,” said Mourinho, whose side play Crystal Palace today in his 100th Premier League home game at Stamford Bridge. “I have a good squad. I’m happy with the squad I have. If I get another player until the end of the market, good. If I don’t get, we go with what we have.”
Mourinho was asked about Everton boss Roberto Martinez’s belief that the transfer window should close before the competition begins. It is something the Portuguese has suggested previously, but he refused to respond.
“You think I’m going to comment on Roberto Martinez’s words?” Mourinho said. “Not generally, I don’t comment. I don’t comment on other opinions.”
Speculation of a Chelsea move for France midfielder Paul Pogba continues as the transfer deadline approaches, but Mourinho again declined to comment.
“I’m not going to do the ‘like’, ‘I would like’ of Pogba. He’s a Juventus player, I’m the Chelsea manager,” added Mourinho, who last week rebuked Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri for commenting on his fondness for Ramires and Oscar.
The Blues have also been linked with China right-back Zhang Linpeng from Guangzhou Evergrande, an interest which is understood to be genuine. Once more, Mourinho was silent.
Captain John Terry was sent off in the 3-2 win at The Hawthorns and is suspended, with Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma likely to line-up in central defence. Chelsea have one loss in Mourinho’s 99 home games – against Sunderland in April 2014 – but have already conceded seven goals in three games this term, including a 3-0 loss at Man City.
“We did a few things (in training),” Mourinho said. “We defended with nine men. I didn’t work the defenders, I worked the team, because you cannot blame defenders for goals conceded, because a team is a team and a good team defends as a team.”
— Christopher Atkins (@ChrisAtkins_) August 28, 2015
Mourinho insists Chelsea’s start, which began with a 2-2 home draw with Swansea, is no “drama” and that the five-point gap to leaders City is manageable.
“It’s not normal that in three matches you have two penalties against and you play with 10 men twice,” said Mourinho, who saw goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois sent off against Swansea.
“One match at home, two matches away, four points is not what we want, but four points is not a drama. When you are five points behind a leader in another league that can be complicated. In the Premier League it’s not complicated.”