LONDON • Pundits and experts alike had predicted a quiet January transfer window and so it proved on deadline day yesterday, with Premier League clubs prioritising loan deals, often with an option to buy in the summer, rather than permanent signings.
Arsenal announced the signing of Spain midfielder Denis Suarez on loan from Barcelona for the rest of the term, with a view to purchase for £20 million (S$35.3 million) in the close season.
The 25-year-old will link up again with Unai Emery, whom he worked with during a loan spell at Sevilla in 2014-15.
The Gunners boss said on the club website: "He is a player we know well and he brings us quality and options in many different attacking positions."
Suarez, who could make his debut on Sunday at his former club Manchester City, barely featured for the Spanish champions this season, with only two LaLiga appearances off the bench.
But he said he had come to the Emirates to play as much as possible and try to help the team qualify for the Champions League.
Endearing himself to the home faithful by claiming he would "like to win the Europa League with Arsenal", he said: "(They) were a team that really inspired me. I used to watch (Dennis) Bergkamp and (Thierry) Henry. They're both legends of the club and, hopefully, we can follow in their footsteps."
Manchester United also strengthened their squad - by securing the long-term future of a key player.
They announced a new deal for Anthony Martial, whose contract situation had been uncertain earlier in the season, which will keep him at the club until 2024.
It is thought the France forward would have left had Jose Mourinho still been in charge, but his sacking and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's appointment as caretaker boss prompted the turnaround.
Solskjaer was also pleased that the 23-year-old, who has eight goals in 18 league games, had committed his best years to United, hailing him as "one of those naturally gifted players that any coach would love to work with".
There was, however, an imminent exit at Old Trafford, with Marouane Fellaini agreeing a £10.4 million move to Chinese Super League outfit Shandong Luneng. Yesterday, the Belgium midfielder posted a picture of himself at the airport preparing to jet off to China on Instagram. According to the Daily Mail, the 31-year-old will earn £235,000 a week.
At press time, the biggest surprise of the window appeared to be Newcastle owner Mike Ashley finally dipping into his pockets to appease their long-suffering fans.
The Magpies broke their transfer record, which had stood for 14 years when they landed Michael Owen for £16.8 million in 2005, with the capture of Miguel Almiron from Major League Soccer side Atlanta for £21 million.
Rafael Benitez had been tracking the Paraguay midfielder, who is widely considered one of the best talents in the MLS, for a year and was delighted to have finally secured the 24-year-old's services.
The manager told the club website: "His impact in MLS has been really good. He's been one of the best players this year and, hopefully, he can give us more competition and more quality in the final third."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE TIMES, LONDON