New twist in United’s Coentrao failure: Replacement signed ‘for half an hour’

New reports in Spain claim Real Madrid had lined up a replacement for Manchester United target Fabio Coentrao last summer.

In the final moments of last summer’s transfer window, Manchester United almost pulled off something of a shock twist.

While many expected the arrival of Marouane Fellaini long before the deal was finally confirmed, few expected Fabio Coentrao to sign from Real Madrid – on loan or otherwise.

But that was almost what happened, with David Moyes reportedly failing to get his man only because Real Madrid failed in their own attempt to sign a replacement – Guilherme Siqueira.

The Granada player had reportedly already agreed a loan move to Benfica, thus preventing Madrid from making their move and reportedly pulling the plug on the Coentrao deal as a result.

But now new details have emerged, with Football Espana reporting on Spanish newspaper AS's interview with Granada’s sporting director Juan Carlos Cordero, in which he paints a different picture of the events.

For half an hour, there was a contract signed with Real Madrid,” Cordero is quoted as saying.

But it was not registered because of the transfer of Coentrao to Manchester United never happened.

“Both Siqueira and Granada knew the transfer was nearly done. It was a loan with an option to buy. Maybe in the future it can be done.”

So it seems that Real did have a new left-back in place if Coentrao had completed his switch to Old Trafford.

Other reports last September claimed United had failed to complete all the relevant paperwork in time, and now the news that Real had lined up a replacement may only rub salt in the wounds.

Then again, this transfer window has proved quite different to the last one, and with the arrival of Juan Mata, United fans may not worry too much about the past, instead looking ahead to what they hope is a bright new future.

image: © anna enriquez

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