Saturday 21 April 2018

Real Madrid deliver patronising verdict on 'inexperienced' Man United after De Gea farce

Ed Woodward (right) and Louis van Gaal are in danger of spoiling Manchester United's reputation in the transfer market
Ed Woodward (right) and Louis van Gaal are in danger of spoiling Manchester United's reputation in the transfer market

Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez has hit out at Manchester United over their mishandling of David de Gea’s botched transfer to the Spanish giants.

Pérez accused United of taking over eight hours to send through the contracts for the deal, which failed to go through as they were sent after Spain’s transfer window shut at midnight on Monday.

And he made a thinly veiled suggestion that the 20-time English champions were no longer the force they once were off the pitch as well as on it, saying they “lacked experience” in pushing through late deals, citing their failure to land Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao and agree a loan deal with Madrid for defender Fabio Coentrao on transfer-deadline day in 2013.

Pérez said that, on Monday, De Gea’s agent Jorge Mendes told Madrid United were willing to sell the goalkeeper, and the club’s director general José Ángel Sánchez struck a deal with the Premier League club’s vice-chairman Ed Woodward “in about half an hour”.

"I think what they lack is experience," Perez said while speaking on Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.

"It happened last year with [Fabio] Coentrao, exactly the same. And it happened with Ander Herrera and Athletic Bilbao. They have a new team and they lack experience.

"We have missed out on players before, Franck Ribery and Patrick Vieira for example, but what is surprising is that someone wants to do a deal and only starts the process 12 hours before.

"It’s the inexperience of the new people in charge.

"We have worked with them before [without problems], with Peter Kenyon and David Gill and with Sir Alex Ferguson.

"We still have good relationship with Manchester United but this is the exactly the same as happened before with Coentrao and Herrera and we thought they would have learned from what happened in the past."

“At 13.30 Manchester United had all the papers but they took eight hours to return them,” Pérez said.

Perez said United’s reluctance to sell De Gea to Madrid was the reason negotiations did not take place until the final day, despite the fact Madrid had made it clear since the end of last season that the goalkeeper was their main transfer target. He also said the club had informed the Spain international of their desire to sign him as a long-term replacement for Iker Casillas, who was sold to Porto earlier in the summer.

“We couldn’t buy him before because Manchester United didn’t want to sell him. De Gea is very upset because he was very excited about coming to United.”

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