Transfer deadline day can often be somewhat anti-climactic given the sheer length of the summer window, which spans for 55 days between July and August.
As clubs prepare to make their final alterations to their squads ahead of the August 31 deadline, however, there could still be some huge deals to go through.
What usually dictates the late business conducted by clubs is the sudden availability, injuries and changes in relationship between manager and player.
Over the years, there have been several dramatic deadline day deals which have gone through with minutes to spare — and some have simply stunned the football world as a collective.
But which deals were the most memorable throughout Premier League history?
As the clock ticks down on the 2021 summer transfer window, Mirror Football looks back on 10 deals that made the headlines…
Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano — Corinthians to West Ham, Free
“Don’t be ridiculous. It’s never going to happen.” Those were the words of West Ham boss Alan Pardew when he learned of speculation regarding the deal to sign Argentinian duo Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano.
By the close of business in August 2006, two of the biggest talents in South America were unveiled as West Ham players.
These were Argentina internationals who had left Brazilian outfit Corinthians due to a contract wrangle. As it turned out, their contractual rights were actually owned by a company and the transfer, orchestrated by agent Kia Joorabchian, was to found to have breached the Premier League’s rules on third-party ownership.
Tevez proved worthy of the hassle, scoring seven goals in 10 games to help West Ham avoid the drop — including an iconic goal at Old Trafford to secure a crucial three points. Meanwhile, Mascherano struggled and went on loan to Liverpool in January.
The deal would prove to be costly, though. The Hammers were fined £5.5million and then later ordered by The FA to pay £20m to Sheffield United in compensation after avoiding a points deduction, with the Blades relegated to the Championship.
Wayne Rooney — Everton to Manchester United, £27m
When you score against Arsenal as a 16-year-old on your debut, you can expect the biggest clubs to take notice.
Sure enough, after Rooney’s wonder strike saw him break into the Everton first-team, he was courted by both Manchester United and Chelsea, who were bankrolled by new owner Roman Abramovich.
But it was the sway of legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson that put the deal in the Red Devils’ hands, agreeing a £27m fee for the 18-year-old. He responded by scoring a hat-trick on his debut against Fenerbahce in the Champions League.
In 13 seasons at the club, Rooney made himself an icon and with 253 goals, he remains the club’s all-time top goalscorer.
He was also named PFA Player’s Player of the Year in 2009-10, PFA Fans’ Player of the Year twice and won the Golden Boot in . A decent deal all in all.
Hugo Lloris — Lyon to Tottenham, £12m
Lloris had been touted as a goalkeeping sensation at Lyon, becoming their first-choice stopper since the age of 21 after starring as a youngster at OGC Nice.
So it was surprising when Tottenham managed to sign him for a relatively cheap £12m fee in 2012.
Since then, the French goalkeeper has become captain for his club and country. Despite his small frame for a goalkeeper, he provides an air of dominance when plucking balls from the sky.
He played a key role in France’s World Cup winning side in 2018 and remains a crucial part of the Spurs setup – as he demonstrated during France’s victorious World Cup campaign.
Now 34, he has some competition to fight off in Pierluiigi Gollini at Spurs but with 375 appearances under his belt, Lloris can look back on his Tottenham career with pride.
Dimitar Berbatov — Tottenham to Manchester United, £30.75m
The deal was full of drama after talks between Daniel Levy and Manchester United’s team of negotiators turned sour.
Spurs had already lodged a complaint with the Premier League over Man United’s conduct in unsettling Berbatov, who wanted to leave to play in the Champions League.
Ferguson was keen to get his man and finally, after seeing off Manchester City with a bid of £30.75m — a club record at the time — Berbatov sealed his move on deadline day in September 2008.
While he was never a regular starter at Old Trafford due to the form of Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez, he still found the net 14 times on their way to clinching the title in 2008-09.
The most painful aspect of his time at the club was when he was left out of the squad for the 2010-11 Champions League final. United lost 3-1 against Barcelona and he left to join Fulham in August 2012, having scored 56 goals in 149 appearances.
Robinho — Real Madrid to Manchester City, £32m
Manchester City have become accustomed to getting the players they want and this is where it all started.
After failing to convince Kaka to move to the Etihad in 2007, one of the first glamorous transfers of the Sheikh Mansour era in 2008 saw Manchester City beat Chelsea to sign Robinho with minutes to go before the deadline.
The former Real Madrid star hit the ground running and scored 14 goals in the Premier League in his first season, linking up superbly with fellow Brazilian Elano.
But his second season in Manchester was blighted by injury and his only goal of the season came against Scunthorpe in the FA Cup. Robinho had become unhappy with life in England and it began to affect his form on the pitch.
He was shipped off back to boyhood club Santos in January 2010 on loan and joined AC Milan permanently for £15m.
Ashley Cole — Arsenal to Chelsea, £5m p/ex
It was a deal that infamously cost Jose Mourinho £200,000 of his own money after he and CEO Peter Kenyon were caught meeting with Ashley Cole without Arsenal’s permission.
The FA upheld the complaint after Chelsea were accused of “tapping up” Cole by offering him double his wages with the Gunners. He was also heavily criticised for cashing in, despite reportedly only being offered a £5,000-a-week pay rise when negotiating with Arsenal.
Arsenal knew they were going to miss out on a fee if they didn’t sell and Chelsea ended up paying just £5m, plus an out-of-favour Williams Gallas, for the world’s best left-back at the time on deadline day in August 2006.
In eight years at Stamford Bridge, the ex-England international won a gluttony of trophies, including one Premier League crown, four FA Cups and the Champions League in 2012.
In total, he made 338 appearances and scored seven times and is still regarded as a club legend in the parts of west London. Some would say it was absolutely worth the risk.
Claude Makelele — Real Madrid to Chelsea, £16m
Florentino Perez has had his enormous successes in football transfers — Crsitiano Ronaldo is a shining example of that. But the Real Madrid supremo must cringe when he recalls his words about selling Claude Makelele: “Younger players will arrive who will cause Makelele to be forgotten,” he said.
He was often regarded as the key cog and the level headed figure in a Real Madrid side, dubbed the “Galacticos”, drenched with talent. So when he was sold to Chelsea in 2003, Real’s fans and players —Zinedine Zidane was frustrated with his exit — made their feelings known.
Makelele quickly brought his experience and expertise to west London, helping the Blues win back-to-back titles between 2004 and 2006.
In total, he made 217 appearances and became an essential element of Jose Mourinho’s dominant team. In fact, he was so good, they named his holding role as the “Makelele role”.
He moved to PSG for the final stage of his playing career and now works back at Stamford Bridge as a youth coach and mentor, ensuring that memories of his successful days as a player are never forgotten.
Luis Suarez — Ajax to Liverpool, £22.8m
While it is difficult to simply brush aside Luis Suarez’s controversial antics, including that bite on Branislav Ivanovic and his 10-game ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra, the Uruguayan was a phenomenal signing for Liverpool.
In the same January 2011 transfer window where the Reds sold Fernando Torres and replaced him with Andy Carroll, Suarez’s arrival was the one that made the difference.
In his four seasons on Merseyside, the Uruguayan scored 82 goals in 133 appearances and earned iconic status with the supporters.
Alas, despite his best efforts with 31 goals in the 2013-14 season, Liverpool fell short in marking his time at the club with a Premier League title. His attempts to force through a move to Barcelona proved successful in 2014, tarnishing his relationship with the fans after moving for £75m.
But at the very least, Suarez can rightly claim to being one of the club’s best-ever foreign imports.
Rafael van der Vaart — Real Madrid to Tottenham, £8m
It would simply not be right to put together a list that did not include a Harry Redknapp bargain and snapping up Rafael van der Vaart was a genius piece of business for Tottenham.
After being left out in the cold at the Santiago Bernabeu, Spurs got wind of the Dutchman’s situation and offered a cheeky £8m fee.
“It was only when the chairman rang me about four o’clock and said there was an opportunity, I said that he wanted to have a go let’s crack on and see if we can pull it off,” Redknapp said, with Levy sealing the deal with hours to spare in August 2010.
Van der Vaart proved to be a shrewd acquisition, scoring 28 goals in 77 appearances and helping fire Spurs to the Champions League for the first time in 2012.
But when Redknapp departed, he was ousted from the team by Andre Villas-Boas and left for Hamburg. Spurs fans still remember his time at the club fondly and now 38, he works as an assistant with Danish outfit Esbjerg.
David Luiz — PSG to Chelsea, £34m
Chelsea fans had rejoiced when the club made a record sale in flogging error-strewn defender David Luiz to big-spending Paris Saint-Germain in 2014 for £49m.
But they were not laughing when Luiz popped up with a goal to knock them out of the Champions League later that season.
Two years later, the Blues returned to sign the Brazilian with a £15m haircut on the fee after Antonio Conte failed to land his top target Kalidou Koulibaly.
Luiz seemingly had no problem being a second-choice target and quickly re-established himself as part of the club’s title-winning team in 2016-17, looking much less of a “Playstation player” in Conte’s back three, as Gary Neville once remarked.
In his second spell at the club, the Brazilian won the league title, FA Cup and Europa League before joining Arsenal in 2019 for £8m.
But after flopping in north London, Luiz remains a cult hero to many Chelsea fans for his contributions over the years.