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David De Gea confusion as Manchester United sign Martial

By Robert Jones

Published 01/09/2015

Starlet: Anthony Martial is set to join United from Monaco
Starlet: Anthony Martial is set to join United from Monaco

Confusion reigned last night as David de Gea's move from Manchester United to Real Madrid appeared to stall at the last moment.

United and Real had agreed a deal worth £29million for the sale of the Spanish goalkeeper, with Keylor Navas coming to Old Trafford as part of the arrangement.

But it is understood that the necessary paperwork was not lodged in time with La Liga and there were suggestions the deal had fallen through.

The transfer window in Spain closed at 11.00pm last night without a deal announced.

United insist they uploaded the requisite documents to Fifa's Transfer Matching System before last night's deadline.

Sources at Old Trafford have rejected reports in Spain that they submitted their paperwork after the deadline and claim they have a time-stamp from Fifa as proof.

If the deal has fallen through, De Gea could be forced to return to United despite having been dropped from the team by manager Louis van Gaal as the talks dragged on.

Van Gaal has said De Gea had his heart set on a move back to his hometown but was resisting Real's advances all summer.

The position of the Dutchman and United's chief executive, Ed Woodward, had previously been that they would keep De Gea to the end of his deal next summer, unless Real had been prepared to sell them defender Sergio Ramos.

The Spaniard, however, signed a new deal at the Bernabeu and United lost interest. The less than assured performance of Sergio Romero in goal in the defeat to Swansea on Sunday, as well as the prospect of signing Navas, seemed to have changed their minds before last night's latest twist.

The 10-time European champions are still trying to resuscitate the deal but as it stands, De Gea will remain a United player until January at the earliest.

It was unclear whether the clubs would appeal to league authorities or Uefa in an attempt to push the deal through.

United meanwhile made French striker Anthony Martial the most expensive teenager in world football yesterday with a £36m payment for Monaco's 19-year-old that could still rise, on yet another hectic end to a summer transfer window at Old Trafford.

It was unclear what the total fee liable to be paid to Monaco for Martial would be, although Premier League clubs including Chelsea have previously been quoted a total of €80m (£58.4m), including extras relating to his performance.

He was at United's Carrington training ground for a medical and has until 6.00pm today to complete his move.

It is another last-gasp swoop from United, as has been the case in previous years with the late signings of Marouane Fellaini in 2013 and Radamel Falcao, on loan, on deadline day a year previously.

United's shortage of strikers has become acute and has meant that they have placed a great deal of faith in unproven Martial.

As well as the De Gea confusion and Martial deal, United allowed reserve goalkeeper Anders Lindgaard to join West Brom on a free. Mexican striker Javier Hernandez joined Bayer Leverkusen on a permanent deal for £7.2m and Adnan Januzaj linked up with Borussia Dortmund on a season-long loan.

Watford were last night trying to sign United goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

Belfast Telegraph

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