James King, Sports Lawyer and member of Mishcon de Reya Sports Group, says:

  • It seems that the transfer details were not registered on FIFA’s online transfer management system (TMS) in time for the authorities at La Liga.
  • As well as registering in time, in order for a transfer to be cleared, information inputted into TMS by the clubs has to match.
  • The two clubs input the information separately and if the two sets of information aren't the same, the transfer is blocked. As this transfer centred on a dispute over the fee and had the additional complicating factor of a player part exchange (having to agree a valuation of Keylor Navas), there is a possibility that the paperwork did not match. Even now, information in the press suggests that each club are claiming differing transfer fees.   
  • It appears that Real’s deliberate negotiating tactic of leaving it as late as possible to negotiate the best possible deal has backfired. Real had hoped to bring the price down by delaying making an official offer until the very last minute.  
  • By leaving it last minute, this leaves little time for the admin and paperwork to be completed, bearing in mind that United were also involved in several other transfers in and out of the Club yesterday and therefore were not able to devote all of their attention to the De Gea deal.