Chelsea and Manchester United were left sweating over whether respective deals for Enzo Fernandez and Marcel Sabitzer had been completed during the final minutes of the transfer window.
Fernandez’s potential British transfer record move from Benfica had been in the offing all day on Tuesday, with Chelsea set to take their extraordinary spending since last summer past the £550million barrier.
Chelsea were reportedly set to pay the 120 million euros (£105.6m) release clause to land the 22-year-old Benfica midfielder, making the Argentina World Cup winner the Premier League’s most expensive player.
The previous British transfer record was set by Manchester City following the signing of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for £100m in August 2021.
Fernandez had been left out of Benfica’s matchday squad for their Primeira Liga fixture at Arouca on Tuesday, and he was reported to have undergone a medical in the Portuguese capital.
But the 11pm deadline came and went without confirmation that the deal had been completed in time.
United were forced into deadline-day action following an ankle injury to Christian Eriksen, which is set to rule the Denmark midfielder out until early May.
Boss Erik ten Hag immediately made a move for Bayern Munich midfielder Marcel Sabitzer and United expect the loan deal to be completed.
Although the transfer deadline closed at 11pm, United have put in a deal sheet which gives them until midnight to finalise their move for the 28-year-old Austria international.
The PA news agency also understands that United defender Axel Tuanzebe is heading out to Stoke on loan.
Chelsea had earlier seen a midfielder leave with Jorginho joining Arsenal on an 18-month deal.
The 31-year-old Italy international moved across London after Arsenal had been keen to strengthen their midfield options following Mohamed Elneny’s serious knee injury earlier in the month.
Jorginho told Arsenal.com: “I’m very excited for this new challenge, and I just can’t wait to be on the pitch to be honest. Everything has happened so fast.
“I was a bit surprised, but I took the opportunity of this amazing challenge.
“It’s an important shirt. It’s an amazing club, a big one, and I’m really excited and happy to be here.”
Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo has joined Bayern Munich on loan for the remainder of the campaign.
Bayern’s unexpected swoop for Cancelo is understood to include an option for the German giants to buy the 28-year-old Portugal international for £61.5m in the summer.
Cancelo said: “FC Bayern is a great club, one of the best in the world, and it’s enormous motivation for me to now play alongside these extraordinary players in a team.”
Tottenham announced the signing of Pedro Porro from Sporting Lisbon 10 minutes before the deadline.
The 23-year-old wing-back has signed on loan until the end of the season with an obligation to make the move permanent in the summer.
Spurs had earlier torn up Matt Doherty’s contract to allow the Republic of Ireland full-back to join Atletico Madrid.
Doherty’s departure was initially set to be temporary, but that would have taken Tottenham up to nine players out on loan and FIFA’s limit is eight.
Djed Spence, another Spurs full-back, joined Ligue 1 side Rennes for the rest of the season.
Bournemouth completed a busy January with the deadline-day signings of Illia Zabarnyi and Hamed Traore.
Ukraine defender Zabarnyi has penned a five-and-a-half-year deal after leaving Dynamo Kyiv, while Ivory Coast midfielder Traore joins from Serie A outfit Sassuolo on an initial loan agreement which will become permanent in the summer for a further five years.
Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake told the club website: “After Bill Foley had completed his takeover of the club last month, he said he would be investing in the squad and has certainly done so.”
Nottingham Forest also had a frenetic finish to the window with three signings in the final hour or so before the deadline.
Veteran defender Felipe came in from Atletico Madrid, midfielder Jonjo Shelvey joined from Newcastle and goalkeeper Keylor Navas signed on loan from Paris St Germain.
Crystal Palace added to their midfield resources with Stuttgart’s Naouirou Ahamada and Albert Sambi Lokonga, who has agreed a loan deal from Arsenal until the end of the season.
Fulham have signed Torino midfielder Sasa Lukic for a reported fee of around £9m.
Lukic, who joins his fellow Serbian international Aleksandar Mitrovic at Craven Cottage, has agreed a four-and-a-half-year deal, with Fulham holding an option to extend by a further 12 months.
Leeds saw Diego Llorente leave for Roma on loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent deal, but signed a player for the future in 18-year-old centre-back Diogo Monteiro from Swiss Super League side Servette.
Leicester signed Australia defender Harry Souttar from Stoke on a five-and-a-half year deal, with Ayoze Perez joining Real Betis for the rest of the season.