Arsenal rounded off a busy transfer deadline day with the sensational last-gasp £10m swoop for Everton playmaker Mikel Arteta.
The Gunners looked to have missed out on the 29-year-old after Everton rejected an earlier bid for their star midfielder.
However, Arteta reportedly forced the issue with a transfer request and penned a four-year contract at the Emirates Stadium.
The Spaniard will be joined in north London by three other deadline-day signings, including Brazil left-back Andre Santos from Fenerbahce and Werder Bremen centre-back Per Mertesacker. Israel international Yossi Benayoun has also moved to the Gunners on a season-long loan from Chelsea.
While moves for Porto’s Alvaro Pereira and Tottenham’s Luka Modric did not come to fruition, Chelsea managed to secure a late deal for Liverpool midfielder Raul Meireles.
In an eerie echo of Fernando Torres’ £50m January switch, the Blues left it until just before the deadline to complete a deal for the Portugal international. The fee is believed to be around £12m .
Several players left Stamford Bridge yesterday, with Gael Kakuta and Patrick van Aanholt joining Bolton and Wigan on season-long loans, while new signing Ulises Davila penned a similar deal with Vitesse Arnhem.
• Stoke have spent a club record £10m to bring in England striker Peter Crouch from Tottenham.
Crouch has signed a four-year deal with the Potters after struggling for first-team opportunities at Spurs. The 6ft 7in forward completed a busy day for Tony Pulis’ team, with Wilson Palacios and Cameron Jerome also signing from Spurs and Birmingham respectively.
The Crouch deal could even rise to £12m dependent on various clauses, and he insisted Stoke defender Jonathan Woodgate – a team-mate of his at Spurs last season – was key to convincing him to move north. “Woody was on the phone every hour trying to persuade me to come here,” Crouch said.
• Liverpool have re-signed Craig Bellamy from Manchester City on a reported two-year deal.
Bellamy’s move relied more on the 32-year-old striker agreeing terms with City over a financial settlement for the last year of his contract.
The Wales international left the national team’s camp at Celtic Manor to fly up to Merseyside for a medical while those negotiations with City were finalised. Bellamy spent last season on loan at Cardiff after a rift with City boss Roberto Mancini
• QPR swooped for Shaun Wright-Phillips and Anton Ferdinand.
• FORMER Seasiders loan striker James Beattie has been released by Scottish champions Rangers. The frontman, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Bloomfield Road, made only six appearances for the SPL giants.