The summer transfer window slammed shut on Monday evening, with some clubs finding their hands were still caught in the frame—to painful and embarrassing consequences.
Many deals did get done (Liverpool brought in three new players, Manchester United added Marouane Fellaini and Arsenal completed a move for Mesut Ozil) but the final moments of the window saw a number of similarly high-profile moves agonisingly fail to cross the line.
So join us, as we scan the morning newspapers and bring you the best titbits from the final moments of a hectic day.
Speculation continues to swirl about why exactly Manchester United's move for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera fell apart.
Around midday on Monday reporters were adamant that United had agreed to meet Herrera's release clause—around £30.5m—but the deal did not go through, with subsequent reports that "imposters" had been negotiating on United's behalf.
The Manchester Evening News claimed that three men purporting to be United officials arrived at La Liga offices in Madrid to complete the deal, but were found to have nothing to do with the club.
However, such reports are not being verified in Spain, with AS reporting that Herrera's camp believe they were being used all along, simply to force Everton into doing a deal for Fellaini (which they eventually did).
The Spanish paper brand the whole thing "an amazing episode," but David Moyes seemed to deny any underhand tactics, telling the Daily Mail: "I really like the player but we thought the buy-out was the wrong valuation."
The Mail claims United also lodged late bids for Sami Khedira and Luka Modric on deadline day, but were declined on both counts.
Manchester United look likely to be further disappointed in another deal—while there has not yet been official confirmation, the Daily Mirror is adamant that a loan move for Fabio Coentrao failed because it was completed after the 11 p.m. deadline.
La Liga officials initially put out a statement confirming the loan, before retracting it amid much confusion. But it appears the deal came too late for official ratification. The Mirror reports:
United boss David Moyes had hoped to pull off a major coup by capturing Portugal international Coentrao at the 11th hour, but the paperwork was apparently not completed in time and the player will remain at the Spanish giants.
The news will be greeted with dismay by United fans, who have been less than impressed with the club's dealings during the window.
And it leaves Moyes in the tricky position of needing to explain to Patrice Evra why he felt another left-back was required.
The Daily Mail claims that Madrid had initially lined up a deal for Granada full-back Guilherme Siqueira (whose move to Real was also mistakenly announced by the Spanish league), meaning they were happy to let Coentrao leave. But when Benfica gazzumped that deal Madrid quickly performed a U-turn.
The paper reports that Arsene Wenger also made moves for Paris St Germain attacker Javier Pastore and even Aston Villa's Christian Benteke, to no end in either case.
The capture of Ozil, however, seems to have placated Arsenal fans. The Mirror claims the German turned down a more lucrative offer from PSG in order to complete the move to the Premier League:
Germany international Ozil has become the Gunners' biggest signing, completing a £42 million move on a five-year deal worth around £140,000-a-week.
The midfielder had a bigger offer from big-spending French champions PSG but decided to join the Gunners after lengthy talks with Wenger over the telephone in the past few days.
Wenger spelled out Arsenal’s ambition to win silverware and for Ozil to be part of his football vision, as well as telling him that he would be his “dream” signing.
Romelu Lukaku was loaned to Everton on Monday evening, despite interest from the club he spent all of last season with, West Brom.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Jose Mourinho was only willing to let one of Lukaku and fellow striker Demba Ba leave in the window, ultimately choosing to send Lukaku away to gain more first team experience.
The addition of Samuel Eto'o had looked likely to limited the talented young Belgian's talent.
The Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson reports that as being a blow to Ba's various suitors, which included Arsenal, West Ham and even Napoli.
Chelsea did not bring anyone in on deadline, as was the case with Tottenham. The same newspaper claimed the club showed some interest in Blackpool's Tom Ince and Zenit St Petersburg's Hulk, but were not forceful in either case.
Much is made of how big-name signings can pay back their exorbitant transfer fees through merchandise and other commercial avenues, and it appears that may well prove the case with Gareth Bale.
The former Spurs man was unveiled at the Santiago Bernabeu in front of 25,000 fans on Monday, but AS reports that experts believe 40,000 of Bale's No. 11 shirts will be sold this year around the world.
At £40 a jersey, that would bring in £1.6 million in extra revenue—a small, but not insignificant, step towards recouping that £85m transfer fee.
Crystal Palace had to go to great lengths to sign a striker—getting extra time to complete a loan move for Stoke's Cameron Jerome (reports the Press Association).
Palace had originally hoped to sign Nicklas Bendtner, but that deal fell through after Arsenal were unable to prise Ba from Arsenal. They then turned their attentions to former star Andy Johnson, but QPR upped their demands after club and player had agreed terms.
Fulham successfully signed Elsad Zverotic from Young Boys with minutes to go until the deadline.
Tom Carroll joined Spurs teammate Benoit Assou-Ekotto in moving on loan to QPR—reportedly turning down a temporary switch to Ajax to do so.