Real Madrid failed in their attempt to sign France striker Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint Germain on the final day of the transfer window as Cristiano Ronaldo completed his move from Juventus to Manchester United.
After a window which saw Lionel Messi's shock move from Barcelona to PSG, Real had hoped to create another upset by luring the most exciting young talent in the game to Madrid.
Multiple media reports in Spain said Real offered transfer fees ranging from 150 million euros ($177.14 million) to 200 million euros ($236.18 million) for the World Cup-winning forward who is out of contract in June.
A source close to PSG said the club had no intention of selling one of their key players in a year in which they are targeting Champions League success and said there was scepticism about whether Real were in a position to pay such a fee.
"It’s been bemusing to see some take Real Madrid’s supposedly credible bids at face value," said the source.
United announced last week that they had reached agreement with Juve to sign their former player, 36-year-old Ronaldo, a five-times Ballon d'Or winner.
Having passed a medical, secured a visa and agreed personal terms, Ronaldo said he was ready to recreate the glory years he enjoyed under former United boss Alex Ferguson.
"I'm back where I belong. Let's make it happen once again... Sir Alex, this one is for you," he said in an Instagram post.
Real did manage to bring in one Frenchman -- teenage midfielder Eduardo Camavinga joining on a six-year contract from French side Stade Rennes.
Local media reported that the fee for the 18-year-old France international was about 30 million euros ($35.41 million).
Despite the absence of another blockbuster deal there was plenty of movement elsewhere.
The most eye-catching deal saw Mbappe's France team mate Antoine Griezmann leave Barcelona to rejoin Atletico Madrid -- initially on loan.
Griezmann left Atleti for the Nou Camp two years ago and his new club said there was an option to extend the loan by a further year, while Barca said there was an obligation to make the move a permanent one.
Spain midfielder Saul Niguez departed Atletico to join Thomas Tuchel's European champions Chelsea -- also on an initial loan basis.
Premier League club West Ham United signed Croatia attacking midfielder Nikola Vlasic from Russian side CSKA Moscow on a five-year contract and Czech midfielder Alex Kral on loan from Spartak Moscow.
Tottenham Hotspur, who held on to England forward Harry Kane in the window despite interest from Manchester City, signed right back Emerson Royal from Barcelona on a five-year deal for 25 million euros ($29.51 million).
Ronaldo's arrival had the knock-on effect of seeing United's Wales winger Dan James leave for Leeds United for a reported fee of 25 million pounds.
Juventus filled the gap in their attack left by Ronaldo by bringing Italy striker Moise Kean, 21, back to the club on a two-year loan worth seven million euros from Everton.
Arsenal signed Japanese full-back Takehiro Tomiyasu from Serie A club Bologna to replace Spanish right-back Hector Bellerin who has moved to Real Betis on a season-long loan.