Europe’s top clubs mostly skipped the chance to make their final signings until 2011, but AC Milan was involved in Tuesday’s biggest deals with Manchester City misfit Robinho added to a formidable forward line and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar sold to Schalke.
Article continues below ...
German club Schalke was one of the continent’s busiest clubs with midfielder Jose Manuel Jurado and defender Nicolas Plestan also joining Huntelaar on deadline-day.
Several World Cup stars used their enhanced reputations to switch across the globe, with Ghana forward Asamoah Gyan leaving Rennes for Premier League side Sunderland, while Netherlands midfielder Rafael van der Vaart was closing in on a late move to Tottenham from Real Madrid.
But Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal all resisted the chance to make any late additions to their squads, reflecting the frugality that has hit the once-frenzied last day of summer trading.
In the Premier League alone, spending was down by 100 million pounds ($153 million) from 2009 summer window, although Manchester City’s spree accounted for more than a third of the 350 million pounds splurged since the end of last season.
England captain Rio Ferdinand dubbed it the "recession window."
"Transfer deadline day was dead," the Manchester United defender posted on Twitter. "I was anticipating some crazy last day bonanza deals but got nothing of the sort!"
Two years ago, deadline-day was set alight by underachieving Manchester City being bought by a wealthy Abu Dhabi sheik, who immediately bankrolled the audacious signing of Robinho from Real Madrid.
The 32.5 million-pound British record capture provided the statement of intent required by Sheik Mansour, but he failed to adapt to life in England and went sent out on loan to Brazilian club Santos in January.
Milan reportedly paid ?15 million to secure Robinho’s services on a four-year deal. He will be competing for a starting spot alongside newly signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato as Milan looks to end Inter Milan’s five-year reign as Serie A champions.
"Our goal has to be to win very important titles," Robinho said. "All the Brazilians on the team will give me a big hand inserting myself into the squad. I hope to create a lot of history for this club."
The 26-year-old Robinho’s arrival enabled Huntelaar to move to Germany on a three-year contract.
Schalke manager Felix Magath, who is revamping the team by releasing costly veterans, on Tuesday captured Plestan from Lille on a three-year contract and midfielder Jurado from Atletico Madrid on a four-year deal.
A hat trick of signings were also made by Premier League club Birmingham, with midfielder Alexander Hleb picked up on a season-long loan from Barcelona, Chile midfielder Jean Beausejour joining on a three-year deal from Mexican side Club America and Spartak Moscow defender Martin Jiranek signing a a one-year contract.
Sunderland broke its transfer record to sign a new striker after Fraizer Campbell was sidelined for at least six months after rupturing knee ligaments.
American owner Ellis Short paid more than 13 million pounds for the 24-year-old Gyan, whose World Cup goals helped Ghana reach the quarterfinals for the first time.
Monaco forward Eidur Gudjohnsen is returning to the Premier League after spending part of last season at Tottenham, joining Stoke on a season-long loan. The central England club also secured former Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant for six months from Real Zaragoza.
Liverpool was alone among England’s traditional "Big Four" in spending on Tuesday, with defender Paul Konchesky joining from manager Roy Hodgson’s former club Fulham on a four-year contract.
Konchesky’s arrival was swiftly followed by 21-year-old Argentine left-back Emiliano Insua leaving Anfield for Galatasaray on a season-long loan with an option to make the deal permanent.
Joseph Yobo is also moving to Turkey from Merseyside on a similarly structured deal, with Everton releasing the Nigeria captain to Fenerbahce.
Tottenham was hoping to pull off the late capture of Van der Vaart, with manager Harry Redknapp hoping the paperwork was lodged with the Premier League in time.
Redknapp claimed the 27-year-old Van der Vaart had been set to join Bayern Munich for 18 million pounds but the move broke down.
The most high-profile arrival in Spain was David Trezeguet’s. The former France striker agreed a two-year deal with promoted Hercules in his first foray into La Liga after 10 seasons with Juventus.
Valencia brought Marius Stankevicius in on loan from Sampdoria to fill the void left by departed defenders Carlos Marchena and Alexis Ruano, which it sold to Sevilla last week.
In France, Lyon signed Senegal defender Pape Diakhate on a one-year loan contract