Arsenal last night persuaded Everton's Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta to take a £20,000 cut in his weekly wages to secure a move to the Emirates in the most dramatic deal in another transfer deadline day of frantic activity across English football.
Over the course of yesterday evening the deal for Arteta collapsed at 7pm with Arsenal agreeing a fee of around £10m for the 29-year-old only to see the transfer slip away from them over the player's personal terms. However, the move was resurrected at 9.30pm with Arteta the driving force in getting it back on track, taking a £20,000 reduction in his £75,000-per-week wages at Everton.
The Everton manager, David Moyes, said last night: "Mikel indicated to me that he wished to join Arsenal. I am very disappointed to lose him but the prospect of Champions League football was something I was not able to offer him."
Also on the move in deals right up the 11pm deadline last night were Raul Meireles (Liverpool to Chelsea); Craig Bellamy (Manchester City to Liverpool) and Peter Crouch (Tottenham to Stoke City) but it was Arsenal who appeared to have the best of it with five signings done since Sunday's 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford.
As well as Arteta, Arsène Wenger secured Yossi Benayoun on a one-year loan deal from Chelsea. The club also completed deals yesterday for the Germany international defender Per Mertesacker from Werder Bremen, for £8m, and the Brazilian left-back Andre Santos from Fenerbahce for £6.2m. Benayoun tweeted last night: "I have signed with Arsenal, very happy and excited about it."
As well losing Arteta, Everton also sold Ayegbeni Yakubu to Blackburn Rovers and Jermaine Beckford to Leicester City. The club brought in the Real Madrid midfielder Royston Drenthe on loan and the Argentine striker Denis Stracqualursi from Velez Sarsfield on a one-year loan.
Crouch completed his move to Stoke City with a £10m fee agreed with Tottenham and a four-year contract for the 30-year-old. Having turned down preliminary offers earlier in the week from Stoke and Sunderland, Crouch was persuaded to change his mind by Tony Pulis. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had counted on the sale of Crouch yesterday to fund his transfer dealings.
As well as Crouch, Stoke also signed Wilson Palacios from Spurs and agreed a £4m fee for Birmingham's Cameron Jerome. Tottenham failed in a late bid to persuade Craig Bellamy to change his mind about a move to Liverpool. Bellamy was given permission to have a medical while Liverpool and Manchester City tried to reach an agreement. In the meantime, Levy offered him a three-year deal but Bellamy stuck with Liverpool's two-year contract.
Tottenham failed in a bid to land the Bolton Wanderers defender Gary Cahill which meant that Sebastian Bassong was not given permission to join QPR. Nicklas Bendtner joined Sunderland from Arsenal after Steve Bruce missed out on signing Crouch, despite Bruce's personal issues with Bendtner when he played for him at Birmingham City.
The French champions Lille completed their loan move for Joe Cole yesterday with the club's general manager Frédéric Paquet confirming that there was no reciprocal deal with Liverpool to get first refusal on striker Eden Hazard. "There is absolutely nothing in that," he told The Independent. "There is no link between Joe Cole and Eden. There has been no discussion."
How the drama of transfer deadline day unfolded
12:22pm Tony Pulis completes the signing of Cameron Jerome from Birmingham City to add to his list of big strikers.
12:35pm Liverpool's Hodgson-era exorcism is complete: Christian Poulsen and Joe Cole are both expelled to France.
1.15pm Everton hope to rake in some money on shirt lettering, agreeing a loan deal for Tigre's Denis Stracqualuisi.
2.06pm Scott Parker adds a new London club to his set by joining Spurs. Only QPR and Arsenal are left on the list.
4.44pm With six hours left, Arsenal decide to replace Cesc Fabregas and make a move for Everton's Mikel Arteta.
5.17pm Spurs may not be wholly happy with Parker: they send David Bentley on loan to West Ham for the season.
6.58pm The Arteta to Arsenal deal seems to have collapsed, causing groans of frustration in Islington.
7.23pm Manchester City's attempt to annoy United continue as they sign former footballer Owen Hargreaves.
8.31pm Owen Coyle signs Gaël Kakuta and David Ngog to reach the places that Chris Eagles and Tuncay don't.
9.23pm Arteta tells Everton he is desperate to join Arsenal, resurrecting what seemed a dead deal.
10.31pm Shaun-Wright Phillips signs for QPR to join his former City team-mate Joey Barton.
10.38pm Liverpool sign Craig Bellamy, and Raul Meireles puts in a rather strangely-timed transfer request.
11.08pm Chelsea sign Meireles. Just over one year ago, Andre Villas-Boas let him leave Porto. Arteta deal is done.
00.15pm Joey Barton typically has the last word hitting out at Newcastle for failing to spend the Andy Carroll cash.
Yesterday's main moves
Raul Meireles (Liverpool-Chelsea) £12m
Mikel Arteta (Everton-Arsenal) £10m
Peter Crouch (Tottenham-Stoke) £10m
Bryan Ruiz (FC Twente-Fulham) £10m
Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen-Arsenal) £8m
Wilson Palacios (Tottenham-Stoke) £8m
Scott Dann (Birmingham-Blackburn) £7.7m
Andre Santos (Fenerbahce-Arsenal) £6.2m
Scott Parker (West Ham United-Tottenham) £5m
Shaun Wright-Phillips (Man City-QPR) £5m
Anton Ferdinand (Sunderland-QPR) £4m
Alan Hutton (Tottenham-Aston Villa) £4m
Cameron Jerome (Birmingham-Stoke) £4m
David Ngog (Liverpool-Bolton) £4m
Shaun Maloney (Celtic-Wigan) £1m
Jordan Slew (Sheffield United-Blackburn) £1m
Craig Bellamy (Manchester City-Liverpool) free
Owen Hargreaves (unattached-Manchester City)
Rohan Ricketts (unattached-Shamrock Rovers)
Yossi Benayoun (Chelsea-Arsenal) loan
Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal-Sunderland) loan
David Bentley (Tottenham-West Ham) loan
Joel Campbell (Arsenal-Lorient) loan
Joe Cole (Liverpool-Lille) loan
Royston Drenthe (Real Madrid-Everton) loan
Jermaine Jenas (Tottenham-Aston Villa) loan
Gael Kakuta (Chelsea-Bolton) loan
Shefki Kuqi (Newcastle-Oldham) loan
Henri Lansbury (Arsenal-West Ham) loan
Villyan Bijev (California Odyssey-Liverpool) und.
Pablo Ibanez (West Bromwich-Birmingham) und.
Sean Kavanagh (Belvedere-Fulham) undisclosed
Christian Poulsen (Liverpool-Evian) undisclosed
Enda Stevens (Shamrock Rovers-Aston Villa) und.
Gilles Sunu (Arsenal-Lorient) undisclosed
Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Everton-Blackburn) und.
Zdenek Grygera (unattached-Fulham)
Orlando Sa (unattached-Fulham)
Villyan Bijev (Liverpool-Fortuna Dusseldorf) loan
John Guidetti (Manchester City-Feyenoord) loan
Peter Ramage (QPR-Crystal Palace) loan
Denis Stracqualursi (Tigre-Everton) loan