Real Madrid faced heavy criticism in the Spanish media for their failure to sign David De Gea from Manchester United before the close of the transfer window.
Sources told ESPN FC that the two clubs had reached an agreement over a deal several hours before the Spanish window closed at midnight local time, and Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas was expected to move in the opposite direction.
However, the transfers were not completed as the authorities did not receive the necessary paperwork before the deadline.
- MARCA (@marca) August 31, 2015
Marca's front-page headline read "Ridiculous," with the newspaper adding: "Madrid and Manchester get entangled in a grotesque negotiation and fail in the signings of De Gea and Keylor Navas."
AS blamed the failure to complete the transfer on Real president Florentino Perez, with the headline: "Florentinada."
Florentino cock-up! Today's cover of AS reflecting on Madrid missing out on signing De Gea. pic.twitter.com/L46JB0Wf5C
- AS English (@English_AS) September 1, 2015
AS argued that Perez, who faced criticism for his handling of Iker Casillas' exit earlier this summer, should have sealed the transfer earlier in the summer.
According to the Spanish daily, the paperwork arrived to the Spanish Football League (LFP) at 12:28 a.m. -- 29 minutes after the end of the transfer window in Spain.
AS added: "Madrid negotiated De Gea's deal but the contracts did not arrive on time to the Spanish [football] league. Keylor remains at Madrid when he had his bags packed to join United."
Catalan newspaper Sport also called the failed transfer "ridiculous" on its front cover.
¡Saludos a tod@s!. El 'fiasco' del Madrid con De Gea, en nuestra portada de hoy: pic.twitter.com/ntjEDn80nb
- Diario SPORT (@sport) August 31, 2015
However, national newspaper El Mundo placed the blame on United for not submitting the documentation on time, describing the "frustrated operation" on its front cover.
El Mundo's editorial added: "Unexpected, even surreal. Everyone was prepared for the club to announce at midnight the arrival of the Manchester United goalkeeper, the chosen man to replace Iker Casillas, the man who would end the long debate regarding the goalkeepers that has hit the club in the last three years."
- EL MUNDO (@elmundoes) September 1, 2015
El Mundo reported that United sent Navas' contract at 23:59, leaving Real no time to forward De Gea's contract to the Spanish League.
According to the publication, Real are considering making a request to UEFA for the deal to be accepted, saying the documents did arrive before midnight even if the stamp from the Spanish Football League is missing.
De Gea has travelled to Madrid and will join the Spain team tonight at Las Rozas to prepare for the national team's upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Slovakia and Macedonia.