In the end it was another last-minute victory for Roberto Mancini. Some three months after he brought the English title back to Manchester City when all appeared lost, the Italian won an internal battle with the club to have his squad reinforced for its defence.
Primary among City's acquisitions on England's transfer deadline day was Javi Garcia, a one-cap Spain international. Benfica's resistance in the deal was broken mid-afternoon when the Portuguese club accepted €7 million (Dh32.3m) less than the defensive midfielder's €30m buyout clause with €3m of the fee performance-related.
Mancini was also reunited with a defender who was established himself as one of the best right-backs during their time together at Inter Milan.
Maicon, now 31, was recruited from Serie A for a fee understood to be €6m and handed a substantial contract. Neither signing was planned by City when they entered the transfer window intent on streamlining their wage bill with Uefa's Financial Fair Play regulations in mind.
City at least agree fees for their key acquisitions relatively early in the day. At Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy sought to conclude several deals on the window's final day. By mid-evening Levy had persuaded Lyon to accept a guaranteed fee of €10m for Hugo Lloris with a further €5m in variables. And the France international goalkeeper was last night in London undergoing a medical.
Tottenham also pulled off a last-minute surprise with the capture of Clint Dempsey from Fulham. The 29-year-old had been the subject of interest from both Liverpool and Aston Villa, but it was Villas-Boas who secured the £6m signing of the US international forward on a three-year deal.
The planned acquisition of Joao Moutinho, however, was far more complicated. Despite precipitous reports Porto had accepted £22m (Dh128.3m) for the midfielder, Levy was still working on negotiating the Portuguese champions down from Moutinho's €40m buyout clause.
As Andre Villas-Boas waited to see if he would be allowed to work with a player central to his tactical planning, Porto named the 25 year old in their squad to play Olhanense this weekend and he was in the party that flew down to the Algarve. A classic piece of brinkmanship from Nuno Pinto da Costa, Porto's transfer-market savvy president.
Da Costa was well aware of the urgency of Tottenham's position, the desire of his former coach to recruit a player he had tried to bring with him to Chelsea a year previously and the sums Levy had raised in August sales.
Earlier yesterday, a further £10m was added to the White Hart Lane slush fund when Rafael van der Vaart was allowed to return to Hamburg. There was even a guaranteed €1m from Giovani dos Santos's sale to Real Mallorca with the possibility of more to come if the Spanish club sold the Mexican on.
Spurs were not the only London club suffering a frustrating day, however.
Chelsea spent much of it negotiating the transfer of Loic Remy from Marseille, but were prevented from concluding a deal for the France forward. They shipped out Michael Essien on loan to rejoin former manager Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, while Yossi Benayoun was reunited with former West Ham.
Fulham had the satisfaction of announcing Dimitar Berbatov's £4m switch from Manchester United in the face of Sir Alex Ferguson's press conference attempts to mess with the deal. But they failed with another bold attempted signing for Lyon's Brazil left-back Michel Bastos, who has also been the subject of a recent bid from Pro League champions Al Ain.
Aston Villa left it late in the day to conclude their transfer business, eventually bringing in Ashley Westwood from Crewe and completing their pursuit of Belgium striker Christian Benteke from Genk.
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