Real Madrid signed Spanish defender Sergio Ramos for 27 million euros (18.5 million pounds) just before the end of a hectic transfer deadline day on Wednesday.
Real used the funds from the sale of Michael Owen to buy Ramos, stealing the thunder of England's Tottenham Hotspur who had been the busiest club with the signings of Jermaine Jenas and Lee Young-pyo and sale of Erik Edman.
Real bought Ramos out of his contract with Sevilla after the player's brother deposited the money with the Spanish Professional Football League (LFP) just 10 minutes before the deadline expired.
"Real Madrid and the player Sergio Ramos deposited the buy-out clause after an assurance from Sevilla that this would not be seen as a hostile move," Real Madrid said in a statement.
The highly rated 19-year-old, who will sign an eight-year contract with Real, is the sixth most expensive signing in the club's history and the first Spaniard to arrive since president Florentino Perez took power in 2000.
Tottenham swooped for England midfielder Jenas, 22, who left Premier League rivals Newcastle United after passing a medical and agreeing personal terms.
Jenas cost Spurs a reported fee of seven million pounds, and Newcastle had spent around 1.5 million of that by the end of the day to lure Peruvian midfielder Nolberto Solano back to the club after 18 months at Aston Villa.
Spurs also paid Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven around two million euros for international defender Lee, South Korea's KBS TV news reported.
Lee became the second South Korean to move to the Premier League, after former PSV team mate Park Ji-sung signed for Manchester United in June.
Sweden defender Edman left Spurs for French Ligue 1 club Stade Rennes for an undisclosed fee.
Edman, who made 31 appearances for Spurs after signing from Dutch side Heerenveen last year, put pen to paper on a three-year contract with Rennes.
PSV acted swiftly to sign a replacement for Lee when Middlesbrough's former Dutch international defender Michael Reiziger agreed a two-year deal with the Eindhoven club.
Inter Milan were involved in two deals before the CET midnight deadline.
The Italian Cup winners let Dutch international midfielder Andy van der Meyde move to Everton for an undisclosed fee and allowed Greek striker Lampros Choutos to join Real Mallorca on a season-long loan.
Among the other deals to go through were Italy and Juventus striker Fabrizio Miccoli's one-year loan to Portuguese champions Benfica and Slovakia defender Marek Cech's transfer from Sparta Prague to 2004 European champions Porto.
Unbeaten Belgian first division leaders Standard Liege also swooped to sign Romania striker Marius Nicolae from Portugal's Sporting, and English Premier League Portsmouth captured Uruguay striker Dario Silva from Sevilla for an undisclosed fee and Senegal midfielder Salif Diao on loan from Liverpool.
Sunderland's Estonian international goalkeeper Mart Poom joined Arsenal on loan until January and Wigan Athletic paid an undisclosed fee to lure Ireland striker David Connolly from second division Leicester City.