The Orlando City star twice appeared to be on the verge of signing for the Championship outfit, only for the deal to fall through both times. Initially, Blackburn had agreed a deal to sign the 23-year-old striker permanently for $4 million plus $2.5m in bonus before surprisingly cancelling the deal while McGuire was already on a plane to England.
With McGuire stuck in the UK on Deadline Day, Sheffield Wednesday tried to swoop in, the USMNT star even posing for photos with their fans. However, Blackburn returned to the negotiating table with Orlando after wonderkid Adam Wharton sealed his big-money transfer to Crystal Palace.
Despite being aflush with fresh funds from Wharton’s exit, Blackburn faced a race against time and were only able to settle on an initial loan deal with their MLS counterparts. The transfer was eventually reported as being done, with McGuire officially unveiled by the Championship relegation battlers.
Exc: Told Blackburn Rovers face a nervous wait to discover whether they have completed a loan deal for Orlando City forward Duncan McGuire with a possibility now that the deal breaks down.@Transfersdotcom https://t.co/KtFK1YJCQd
— Jacque Talbot (@jac_talbot) February 3, 2024
Comedy of errors
The problem was that, well, the deal hadn’t actually been done. As exclusively revealed by FootballTransfers and subsequently confirmed by Tom Bogert of The Athletic, Blackburn had failed to submit the necessary paperwork before the transfer window deadline.
As it turns out, Blackburn officials had only saved all the documents for the transaction rather than actually submitting them. The case has now been considered by the EFL Board and the original decision to reject Blackburn’s application to register the striker has been upheld.
“The EFL Board has today upheld the decision of the EFL Executive to reject the application from Blackburn Rovers to register Duncan McGuire on loan from Orlando City,” an official statement read. “The EFL initially rejected the request to register the player on the grounds that Blackburn had failed to submit the required paperwork by the 11pm transfer deadline on 1 February 2024 but the Club asked that the Board review that decision.”
“Blackburn Rovers admitted it did not click to submit the application to the EFL until after the closure of the window as a result of human error but argued that all relevant details had been agreed, signed and uploaded onto the system in advance of 11pm. Upon comprehensive review of submissions, the Board determined that the upload of documents into a draft application area did not constitute sending documents to the EFL.”