Not since Kevin Keegan's famous meltdown did football witness a collapse quite like the David de Gea transfer saga.
The Spaniard remained with the Red Devils, but that by no means suggests the saga is over.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
Most clubs would be put off by the absolute mess caused by the De Gea transfer - not Madrid, though. When it comes to buying players, the Spanish giants are relentless.
WHY REPLACE NAVAS?
Since the beginning of the season, current 'keeper Keylor Navas has won over Real fans. The Madrid side are unbeaten, having conceded three goals in La Liga all season, and Navas has made an impressive 28 saves.
However, whilst such form would suggest Real's interest for De Gea might have wavered, Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague doesn't believe so.
In answer to a fan's question on his weekly column for Sky Sports, the Spaniard said: "Real Madrid don't make decisions in terms of big signings based on sporting reasons, it is mainly down to business plans.
"De Gea fits the business plan of having a superstar in goal instead of Keylor Navas who is very good. So I wouldn't be surprised if they go back for De Gea."
WILL UNITED SELL?
The issue remains, though, that manager Louis van Gaal will attempt to reject any advances for his star goalkeeper. However, when Real want a player, they nearly always get them.
David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale all required hours of gritty negotiation, but Los Blancos eventually agreed deals for each, regardless of how important they were to their former clubs.
However, the mess left after negotiations will make it difficult for a deal to resurface for De Gea. The Spain international would like to think the decision will be his, but even he knows the transfer is about more than just football.
BATTLE TO ASSERT POWER
Rafael Benitez's side want to assert themselves as Europe's financial powerhouse, whereas United want to avoid damaging their reputation in the transfer market.
The problem for the Old Trafford side is the lure of playing for Real, especially for native Spaniards.
Sir Alex Ferguson was determined to keep hold of Ronaldo in 2009, prompting the famous "I wouldn't sell them a virus" line, yet even the respect Ferguson commanded wasn't enough to keep hold of his prized possession.
That is why, much like they always do, Real will likely end up signing De Gea, whether United like it or not.