United hit back at Real over De Gea ‘fi­asco’

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

LON­DON — Manch­ester United are at war with Real Madrid af­ter the col­lapse of

The Ham­mers be­gan the day by con­firm­ing the re­turn of midfielder Alex Song for a sec­ond sea­son on loan from Barcelona be­fore they cap­tured Chelsea winger Vic­tor Moses, also on a sea­son-long loan.

The club then an­nounced per­ma­nent deals for striker Ni­kica Jelavic from Hull and winger Michail An­to­nio from Not­ting­ham For­est.

There were also re­ports of in­ter­est in Tot­ten­ham striker Em­manuel Ade­bayor but the for­mer Ar­se­nal and Manch­ester City man ap­peared to be locked in a con­tract dis­pute with Spurs.

Hav­ing ap­par­ently given up hope of pris­ing John Stones from Ever­ton for this win­dow, Chelsea com­pleted a deal for Sene­gal de­fender Papy Djilo­bodji from Nantes.

The fee was re­ported to be around £2.2mil­lion, just over seven per cent of the £30mil­lion they were pre­pared to pay for Stones.

A deal was also agreed for Read­ing de­fender Michael Hec­tor but he was im­me­di­ately loaned back to the Roy­als.

Ever­ton, who re­jected three bids from Chelsea for Stones and a trans­fer re­quest from the player, signed a new de­fender them­selves.

The Tof­fees con­firmed an ex­pected deal for Ramiro Funes Mori from River Plate, although the £9.5mil­lion fee was con­sid­er­ably more than the £5.5mil­lion ini­tial re­ports had sug­gested it would be.

Southamp­ton an­nounced the sign­ing of de­fender Vir­gil van Dijk David de Gea’s move from Old Traf­ford to the Bern­abeu de­scended into tit-for-

Manch­ester es­ter United’s £36 mil­lion sign­ingng of Mar­tial made the 19-year-oldd the world’s most ex­pen­sive teenager,ger, with the fee po­ten­tially ris­ing g to £58 mil­lion.

He be­comesmes United’s third most ex­pen­sive sign­ing af­ter An­gel Di Maria (£59.7 59.7 mil­lion) and Juan tat ac­cu­sa­tions and bit­ter re­crim­i­na­tions be­tween the two clubs.

The £29 mil­lion deal that also in­volved Madrid goal­keeper Key­lor Navas join­ing United fell through when the Span­ish giants failed to register De Gea as their player in time for the Span­ish trans­fer dead­line at mid­night on Mon­day.

Madrid have been widely blamed for the fi­asco with one Old Traf­ford source de­scrib­ing it as “a car crash wait­ing to hap­pen”.

On an ex­tra­or­di­nary day of claim and counter claim, the Spa­niards re­sponded by is­su­ing a 10-point state­ment al­leg­ing that United in­sti­gated ne­go­ti­a­tions to end the long-run­ning trans­fer saga and were at fault for hold­ing up the deal.

It con­cluded: “In short, Real has done ev­ery­thing nec­es­sary, and at all times, for these two trans­fers to go through.”

But United hit back on Tues­day night with an of­fi­cial state­ment of their own, in­sist­ing that Madrid made the first move with an open­ing of­fer be­lieved to be in the re­gion of £11 mil­lion plus Navas, and are to blame for reg­is­ter­ing De Gea too late.

The club said: “Manch­ester United acts ap­pro­pri­ately and ef­fi­ciently in its trans­fer deal­ings.”

Pri­vately, United be­lieve that Madrid got cold feet over the deal and sab­o­taged it due to a surge in sup­port for Navas from their own fans.

The source dis­missed claims from Real that they took eight hours to re­turn the pa­per­work as “ab­so­lute rub­bish”, and re­vealed that there was a sig­nif­i­cant change to the terms of De Gea’s con­tract just 20 min­utes be­fore the dead­line.

United had a pri­vate jet on standby to bring Navas to Manch­ester for a med­i­cal, but were un­able to make con­tact with his agent for three hours, and were then told by Madrid that the Costa Rica in­ter­na­tional did not need to fly. — Daily Mail MI­LAN — Coach An­to­nio Conte (pic­tured) has de­manded Italy seal their Euro 2016 ticket this week­end but has warned that only first team reg­u­lars will fig­ure in his trav­el­ling plans for next sum­mer’s tour­na­ment in France.

Italy host Malta in Florence to­day be­fore trav­el­ling to Palermo to host a Bul­gar­ian side des­per­ate to re­launch their qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign with four games re­main­ing in Group H.

Vic­tory from both games would see Italy book their ticket for the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships with two games to spare.

Conte, who led Ju­ven­tus to three con­sec­u­tive ti­tles prior to tak­ing over the Italy job, ad­vised his squad to put aside what is go­ing on in do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tion.

“It’s an im­por­tant week for us. With two wins against Malta and Bulgaria we can qual­ify for Euro 2016,” said Conte, who took over from Ce­sare Pran­delli fol­low­ing Italy’s first-round exit from last year’s World Cup.

“I want the play­ers to for­get what’s hap­pen­ing in their var­i­ous clubs. All we should be fo­cus­ing on is win­ning our games. — AFP

De Gea was in­stru­men­tal for United last sea­son as he helped the club re­turn to the Cham­pi­ons League.

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