Manchester United dominated Europe's transfer activity as the transfer deadline window slammed shut on Monday, manager Louis van Gaal taking his summer spending spree to more than 150 million pounds.
The former Netherlands coach, without a Premier League win this season and hammered 4-0 by third tier MK Dons in a League Cup match last week, signed versatile Dutch international Daley Blind for 14 million pounds from Ajax.
Rumours swirled that the move for Radamel Falcao had gone awry over a failed medical exam as the deadline closed on Monday, but the Colombian striker's one-year loan deal with an option to buy was finally announced some 90 minutes later.
"I am delighted to be joining Manchester United on loan this season," 28-year-old Falcao, who scored 11 goals in 20 appearances for AS Monaco, said on United's website (www.manutd.com).
"Manchester United is the biggest club in the world and is clearly determined to get back to the top. I am looking forward to working with Louis van Gaal and contributing to the team’s success at this very exciting period in the club's history."
Last week, United broke the British transfer record in signing Angel Di Maria for 59.7 million pounds from Real Madrid and started their summer dealings with the 29 million pound capture of midfielder Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao.
Winless after three games in the Premier League, the rash of signings may appease the critics who have clamoured for an injection of new blood at the fallen giants.
United will recoup some of the fortune spent after selling England forward Danny Welbeck to Arsenal, while Mexico striker Javier Hernandez has also departed on a season-long loan to Real Madrid.
Arsenal did not disclose details, but British media reported the transfer fee for 26-cap England forward Welbeck at 16 million pounds.
"Everyone at Arsenal welcomes Danny to the club and looks forward to his contribution in an Arsenal shirt this season," the team said of the 23-year-old, expected to make his Gunners debut at home to Manchester City on Sept. 13.
Hernandez joins Real after spending four years at United, scoring 37 times in 102 Premier League appearances.
Blind, 24, signed a four-year deal and reunites with Van Gaal after working with the Dutchman at Ajax and the Netherlands national team.
"I am delighted Daley has signed. He is a very intelligent and versatile footballer," Van Gaal said.
"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."
Most of Europe's top sides had done their big money deals before deadline day but a host of clubs took advantage of the frenzy that usually accompanies the end of the window.
Manchester City, big spenders in the past, released England defender Micah Richards to Serie A Fiorentina on loan.
"Now there are no more doubts. The wait is over," the Italian side announced on their website (www.fiorentina.it).
They also let 29-year-old Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo, signed from Seville last year for 16.4 million pounds, leave on loan to Valencia.