It was Tottenham Hotspur who were holding centre stage as transfer deadline day drew to a close last night. With striker Dimitar Berbatov in talks with Manchester City, and according to some reports still wanted by their city Manchester United and Spanish side Real Madrid, the Londoners were busy trying to strengthen their side for what promises to be a rollercoaster campaign.
The powerful Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, seen as the replacement for Berbatov, completed his £14million (Dh 92m)move from Spartak Moscow while Vedran Corluka arrived from Manchester City for £8.5m. The versatile Croatian said: "I am delighted to be here because I am coming to a big club with great players, great ambition and also my best friend [Luka Modric] is here so it is a very happy day for me."
With many deals on deadline day usually being concluded just before the midnight deadline, there was still time for Spurs to add to their squad before the cut off point with another striker their priority. Andrei Arshavin and the Argentine frontman Diego Milito were among those in the frame last night. Chelsea were also leaving it late in their bid to prise Robinho from Real Madrid, but the right-back Paulo Ferreira was in talks with West Ham.
David Moyes was making up for lost time in the market as he beefed up his lightweight Everton squad by signing the striker Louis Saha from Manchester United for £7m. Carlo Nash will provide experienced back-up to the Toffees's No 1 keeper Tim Howard. The highly-rated Inter Milan winger Victor Obinna will not be featuring at Goodison Park though, after the Nigerian failed to get a work permit. Their Merseyside rivals Liverpool were still expecting to seal a deal for the Spanish winger Albert Riera from Espanyol, but the Irish full-back Steve Finnan was heading in the other direction, signing a two-year deal.
With Fernando Torres out with hamstring trouble, Rafa Benitez did sign another striker to bolster his options. The little-known Brazilian youngster Vitor Flora will be hoping to make his mark at Anfield, while Hungarian keeper Peter Gulacsi has also signed. Newcastle moved to fill the gap left by the departed James Milner by taking the Uruguayan midfielder Nacho Gonzalez on loan from Valencia. Harry Redknapp, the Portsmouth manager, has brought in the left-back Nadir Belhadj, 26, on loan for the season from Lens, with an option to buy the Algerian if he impresses. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org