De Gea was set to move to the Bernabeu in a B#29million deal from United on Monday but the deal failed to materialise, according to Real, after documents sent by the Red Devils arrived after the transfer deadline in Spain. Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas was set to move the opposite way.
Real president Florentino Perez said in an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena Ser: “We sent the contracts to United at 13:30 on Monday and they took eight hours to send them back. They must have had a lot of work.
“From then on we had little time. I sensed that afternoon that we wouldn’t make it in time because I knew the lack of experience by United in these issues.”
He added: “We didn’t get the contracts until 00:02, past the deadline. We and FIFA have proof of this. It’s a shame and I don’t understand why they needed so much time for the contracts, I don’t understand a series of issues.”
But in response to the claims from Spain, a United spokesman suggested Real were making such claims to mask their own failings.
The spokesman said: “The facts speak for themselves. The FA are prepared to back our case that documents were in on time; Real seem intent to move the focus away from their own clumsiness this summer.
“We all like to blame others but if you let one slip through your fingers into the back of the net, then ultimately the culpability is yours.”
Perez claimed United did not want to begin negotiations until transfer deadline day in Spain.
“They didn’t want to negotiate until Monday,” Perez said. “We felt we owed the player the duty to try to sign him even though we knew it would be very difficult.
“That is why we tried in the final day of the transfer market because we knew that De Gea had made an effort and we could not let him down.
“I don’t want to blame anyone but we don’t really understand whether they needed eight hours to review the contracts or if it was just that they wanted to wait until the last minute to negotiate.”
Perez did not reveal whether his club will try to acquire De Gea once his contract at United expires next summer but indicated Real may have missed their only chance to get the 24-year-old.
De Gea had been a target since last year and was set to replace Iker Casillas as Real’s number one following the departure of the veteran captain to FC Porto in July.
Media reports claim De Gea will sign a contract extension to remain at Old Trafford beyond next summer in the hope of reclaiming the number one spot at United and to have a chance to play for Spain at Euro 2016.
“I don’t know what will happen to the player,” Perez said.. “After what happened I have not spoken to De Gea but (Real Madrid general director) Jose Angel Sanchez did.
“I was told that he (De Gea) was very affected because he had high hopes of joining Real Madrid.
“De Gea will be Iker’s successor, I don’t know if at Real Madrid but I’m certain he will be in the national team.”