By Mike Collett
LONDON, Sept 2 (Reuters) - The transfer window appeared to be ending with the equivalent of a tap-in goal rather than a screamer into the back of the net on Monday after Gareth Bale's world record move from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid the day before.
With three hours remaining before it closed at 2200 GMT, a record $813.08 million of business had been completed by Premier League clubs in this window.
Unlike some years which have been dominated by frantic last-minute deals on the final day, clubs generally moved much earlier in the window for their major signings.
There was an exception at Arsenal, who looked poised to smash their club record by paying Real Madrid a widely reported $66.15 million fee for 24-year-old Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil.
Early season Premier League leaders Liverpool were also busy on the final day, signing central defenders Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori for a combined fee of about $38.91 million.
Sakho has arrived from Paris St Germain while Ilori has joined from Sporting Lisbon. They also took forward Victor Moses on a season-long loan from Chelsea.
Chelsea were fairly quiet on the final day, with their deals for Andre Schuerrle, Willian, Kevin de Bruyne, Marco van Ginkel and Samuel Eto'o already completed.
Spurs, who have already invested the 100 million euro ($131.88 million) Bale sale proceeds on seven internationals in the last six weeks at a reported cost of $171.20 million, were also quiet and there was little deadline-day movement at many other Premier League clubs.
Outside the English top flight, Kaka heading back to AC Milan on a free transfer after four forgettable years at Real Madrid topped the list of notable transfers on deadline day.
The Rossoneri moved quickly after selling fellow playmaker Kevin-Prince Boateng to Schalke 04 over the weekend.
Real Madrid loaned Russia forward Denis Cheryshev to La Liga rivals Sevilla for the rest of the season but otherwise the last day of the window was fairly low-key in continental Europe with some late deals still likely.
During this window, Neymar's move from Santos to Barcelona to partner Lionel Messi upfront was a standout deal while Mario Goetze swapping Borussia Dortmund for rivals and European champions Bayern Munich for $48.80 million raised eyebrows.
The other big deals involving German clubs featured Henrikh Mkhitaryan moving from Shakhtar Donetsk to Dortmund for $37.35 million and Thiago Alcantara leaving Barca for Bayern for $35 million.
Neymar's move from Santos to Barcelona, the highest-profile transfer in Spain apart from Bale, was actually sealed at the end of last season when Barca announced they had secured the services of the Brazil forward for a fee of $75.17 million.
As well as buying Bale, Real shopped among their La Liga rivals and bought playmaker Isco from Malaga and midfielder Asier Illarramendi from Real Sociedad for $39.5 million each.
They also sold three players to Napoli, including Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain, where they joined up with Spanish coach Rafa Benitez. The final departure was looking like Ozil to Arsenal.
Aside from Real and Barca, the world's richest clubs by income, La Liga's cash-strapped teams generally had to sell off their top talent, continuing the trend of recent years.
Sevilla cashed in on Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas, selling the Spain pair to Manchester City for $32.97 million and $26.38 million respectively.
City also invested in Fernandinho from Shakhtar for $54.47 million while Valencia offloaded Spain striker Roberto Soldado to Tottenham for $39.57 million.
In France, champions Paris St Germain went into action late as they first had to find a replacement for coach Carlo Ancelotti, who left for Real Madrid.
Having appointed Laurent Blanc, their first signing was Edinson Cavani from Napoli for $84.41 million, a fee second only to the Bale deal in this window.
PSG, who have signed two dozen players since the Qatari fund QSI bought them in 2011, then limited their moves to a couple of exciting youngsters in defenders Marquinhos and Lucas Digne for $41.54 million and $19.78 million.
They beat Monaco to Digne but the wealthy principality club had already struck deals with Colombia striker Radamel Falcao, compatriot James Rodriguez and Portuguese Joao Moutinho for a total of $171.45 million.
The newly promoted side, who are aiming to compete for the French title as early as this season, also brought in some experience with centre backs Ricardo Carvalho and Eric Abidal, on free transfers, and former France midfielder Jeremy Toulalan.
They then splashed out another $26.38 million on France midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia after signing a host of great prospects like Spain Under-20 defender Borja Lopez.
No Ligue 1 club could compete with the two wealthiest, with last term's runners-up Olympique Marseille signing France winger Dimitri Payet, midfielder Gianelli Imbula and forward Saber Khalifa for a total of $29 million. ($1 = 0.6425 British pounds) ($1 = 0.7582 euros) ($1 = 0.7582 euros) (Additional reporting by Mark Meadows in London, Iain Rogers in Madrid and Gregory Blachier in Paris; Editing by Sonia Oxley)
- Sports & Recreation
- Gareth Bale
- Real Madrid
- Premier League
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Mamadou Sakho
- Tiago Ilori