Manchester United were still trying to squeeze the biggest move of the summer through the gap. As the transfer deadline arrived, Radamel Falcao was still to be fully confirmed as a United player, although his loan move from Monaco deal was all but done. So too was the agreement that United will pay his £265,000-a-week wages in full.
United had also agreed a £16m fee with Arsenal for the sale of Danny Welbeck, with the move expected to be confirmed today. The club dealt in more than speculation yesterday, of course, parting with £14m to add Dutch defender Daley Blind to the squad. The 24-year-old had spent the summer alongside Louis Van Gaal at the World Cup and has been reunited with his compatriot at United.
The deal was announced some three hours before the window closed, bringing an end the player's long-time relationship with Ajax. The £14m fee involved swelled the Old Trafford club's summer spending to £150m - Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, whose move has been complicated by legal issues, and Angel di Maria all paid for in full. Indeed, the latter became Britain's most expensive player having cost £59.7m from Real Madrid.
Blind has agreed a four-year contract and his versatility will provide options for Van Gaal, whose initial attempts to impose a 3-5-2 system on have still to bring success. The Dutchman is comfortable across the back line, at wing-back or as a defensive midfielder.
"It is a real honour to sign for United," said Blind. "I have been at Ajax since I was seven years old and I will always have very fond memories of the club and of my time there. Louis van Gaal is a tremendously talented coach, I have worked with him at Ajax and also for the Netherlands national team and I cannot wait to work with him at the biggest club in the world."
It was a sentiment echoed by his manager last night. "I am delighted Daley has signed for the club," added Van Gaal. "He is a very intelligent and versatile footballer that can play in many positions. Daley is a great reader of the game, he has played under my philosophy over a number of years and he will be a great addition to the team."
It was not so long ago that City were making similar noises about Alvaro Negredo. The Spaniard was an impressive player in the Barclays Premier League but his talents will now be referred to in the past tense in England since a deal was struck with Valencia last night to take the forward back to Spain. The deal includes an option to sign Negredo on a permanent deal at the end of the campaign.
The striker will find himself lining up alongside erstwhile city rival Javier Hernandez, who has moved to Real Madrid on a loan until the end of the campaign, with a similar move agreed between City and Fiorentina to take Micah Richards to Italy.
In the north east, Newcastle United were understood to have agreed a deal to sell Hatem Ben Arfa to Hull City, with neighbours Sunderland able to push through a loan deal for Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates.
The 23-year-old Uruguayan has struggled to make an impact in his three years at Anfield, making just six starts in the league and 24 appearances overall for the club. However, Gus Poyet, his compatriot and now manager at Sunderland, is confident that he can get the best out of the defender. That much was clear after Poyet recruited him on loan.
That marked the second piece of business at the Stadium of Light, after French defender Modibo Diakite left the club by mutual consent. His gone and is likely to be forgotten quickly since his departure was accounted for by a one-line statement on Sunderland's official website.