With Manchester United unlikely to finish in the top four, Louis van Gaal was asked whether he was worried about players like David de Gea leaving the club.

“You have said that he is going to Real Madrid,” he said. “I have said always that he stays. You remember that? And now you are asking how long he has to stay? Come on. First you have to say: ‘Okay, sorry that I have written that. Sorry.’ Ask him, ask him. Maybe he said something about that. But not to me.”

When Van Gaal was reminded that De Gea almost joined Real Madrid last, he responded: “Oh yeah? You think so. Okay. You have all the evidence of that? You have spoken with Mr Perez and Mr Woodward about that matter?”

At the time, United released a statement on the situation, confirming that an agreement had been in place, but Real Madrid failed to submit their paperwork on time.

At lunchtime yesterday, Real Madrid made its first offer to buy David. A deal was agreed between the clubs, which included Navas being transferred to Old Trafford. The deals were dependent on each other. Only at 22:55 BST were the documents that are needed to cancel David’s contract received by Manchester United from Real Madrid. At this point Navas’ documentation was still not returned by Real Madrid.

It is our understanding that the deals couldn’t happen because Real Madrid didn’t upload David’s documents onto TMS in time (Manchester United did). Real Madrid didn’t upload David’s documents to the Spanish league in time, per reports it seems some 28 minutes after the deadline. The fact that Manchester United filed the papers on time was acknowledged by the Football Association, who offered to support that claim in any discussions with FIFA. The club offered this assistance, as well as its own timestamped documents to Real Madrid but they have chosen not to go down this route.

For Van Gaal to now claim that none of this happened, and De Gea wasn’t on his way to Real Madrid, is rather strange.