Real Madrid took centre stage on the final day of the summer transfer window as two Galacticos departed to make way for the most expensive player in the history of football.
Gareth Bale’s world-record switch from Tottenham to Madrid was finally completed on Monday as the Wales international winger passed his medical and put pen to paper on a six-year contract at the Bernabeu.
Madrid are understood to have paid €100m (£85.3m) for Bale, breaking the £80m fee they splashed out on Cristiano Ronaldo four years ago, but the Spanish giants would recoup half of that fee by the end of the day.
At the 11th hour, Germany international Mesut Ozil completed a €50m (£42.4m) move to Arsenal after his fellow playmaker Kaka had finalised his return to AC Milan.
The 24-year-old Ozil sealed the transfer having undergone a medical in Munich, where he is on international duty.
Madrid also allowed young Russia forward Denis Cheryshev to join Primera Division rivals Sevilla on loan while back-up goalkeeper Antonio Adan agreed to have his contract rescinded.
Across the city Atletico Madrid beat the deadline to complete the double signing of defender Toby Alderweireld and midfielder Josuha Guilavogui for undisclosed fees.
One player leaving the Spanish capital was Kaka, who officially rejoined Milan after four years in exile – and the Brazilian was given a hero’s reception on his return to Italy.
The Serie A club moved swiftly to bring the 31-year-old back to San Siro - reportedly on a free transfer – and after he arrived in Milan he was mobbed by hundreds of fans who later awaited confirmation a two-year contract had been signed.
The Brazil international eventually appeared on the Via Turati balcony to hold up the red and black striped shirt he last wore at San Siro in May 2009.
Italian champions Juventus signed Domenico Berardi from Sassuolo and loaned him back to the Serie A newcomers, while allowing Luca Marrone to join the Neroverdi.
Also in Italy, Bologna reached an agreement with Metalist Kharkiv to sign Argentinian striker Jonathan Cristaldo on loan with the option to buy, while Catania signed Czech Republic midfielder Jaroslav Plasil from Bordeaux.
Genoa and Hellas Verona both bagged Argentinian wingers on loan with Ricardo Centurion moving to the Marassi while Juan Iturbe pitched up in the north east. The Rossoblu also signed Albano Bizzarri, Adrian Stoian, Ioannis Fetfatzidis and Emanuele Calaio.
On their way out were striker Libor Kozak, who signed for Aston Villa for £7m, and Palermo duo Emiliano Viviano and Andrea Dossena.
The former Fiorentina goalkeeper will spend a season with Arsenal while Dossena joined Sunderland on loan.
Clubs were busy in Germany as well, with Japan captain Makoto Hasebe moving from Wolfsburg to Nurnberg.
The 29-year-old has signed a three-year contract and will help fill the void left by the sale of Timmy Simons to Club Brugge this summer.
Wolfsburg also saw striker Patrick Helmes return to his former club Koln in the second division for an undisclosed fee.
Hertha Berlin signed midfielder Per Ciljan Skjelbred on loan from Hamburg until the end of the season, while striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga headed in the opposite direction.
Eintracht Frankfurt, meanwhile, signed Switzerland midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta on loan for the rest of the season from Schalke, while Stuttgart snapped up Tunisian defender Karim Haggui from Hannover.
In Holland, Ajax moved to fill the gap left by Tottenham-bound Christian Eriksen by signing midfielder Lerin Duarte from Heracles Almelo for an undisclosed fee.
Midfielder Simon Cziommer joined Heracles on a free transfer from Vitesse, who themselves have signed Portuguese midfielder Francisco Junior from Everton on a season-long loan deal.
A relatively quiet night for Ligue 1 clubs saw midfield prospect Florian Thauvin leave Lille to sign a five-year contract with Marseille and Bastia sign winger Ryad Boudebouz from Sochaux for €1m.