We all remember Sir Alex Ferguson kidnapping Dimitar Berbatov when he hadn't been given permission by Tottenham to go to Manchester and the shock as Robinho made a big-money move to Manchester City while Mark Hughes was on the golf course. The bitterness of Ashley Cole's protracted move from Arsenal to Chelsea stays with us, along with William Gallas' strop finally getting him his move in the other direction, while that deal straight out of left-field when Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano's signed for West Ham still puzzles. Transfer deadline day continually throws up all kinds of pulsating deals and January 2013 was no different.
The biggest news of the day was obviously where David Beckham decided to go. The cynics among us might suggest his move to Paris was driven move by Posh's fashion career than his football ambition, but to be fair she is to remain in London with the kids. The even more cynical (but probably correct) among us would say it is all just a PR stunt so brand Qatar and brand Becks can unite and create a world soccer superpower. But, stripping away the cynicism leaves us with the news that England's favourite son is back and playing at the highest level and in a gesture of genuine kindness, donating his salary to a children's charity in Paris.
On to QPR. They started the day interested in too many players to list here. David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas and Andros Townsend were the first targets and they duly got the latter two by the end of the day. Jenas signed on an 18-month deal while Townsend joins on loan to the end of the season. Apparently, and predictably, there was never actually any interest in David Bentley. The big news of the day was giant defender Christopher Samba signing for a club record deal reportedly worth more than £10 million and around £100k per week. It seems crazy money for a relegation-threatened team but QPR's dynamic duo, Harry Redknapp and chequebook-chairman Tony Fernandes, must be confident of survival to sanction such a deal. As if QPR's scattergun approach was not enough, they even provided the watching public with some entertainment. They'd been trying to sign Peter Odemwingie all day but West Brom were not selling.
Someone must've told the striker there was a deal in place because he ended up driving all the way to London only to be told he was not allowed in and there was no deal. Funny for us, embarrassing for him.
Norwich next, and to their pursuit of a striker: chiefly Gary Hooper. Celtic's star man was not for sale according to the Glaswegian giants but that didn't stop the Canaries from making a fourth and fifth bid on deadline day. Both were rejected. Norwich did, however, manage to bring in Leeds United's leading scorer Luciano Becchio, with Steve Morison heading in the other direction. Decent business all round.
North London was desperate for signings. Arsenal needed a defender and Spurs a striker. Yet in the morning it was Arsenal who were reportedly trying to sign Barcelona frontman David Villa. A good signing he may have been, but not what Arsenal needed. This deal did not go through as the Catalan club refused to sell. Spurs were rumoured all day to have been in contact with long-term target Leandro Damiao about a move. It took until ‘Levy-time' for any facts to come out. It was 9pm GMT before there was official confirmation that Tottenham had made a bid but this was rejected by Internacional and Spurs' hopes were dashed. Arsenal, however, had been working on a deal for Malaga left-back Nacho Monreal and in what seemed a hilarious attempt to frustrate their fans even longer, announced the confirmation of the signing at 10.59pm on the club's website.
Earlier in the day, Swansea striker Danny Graham finally got his move back up north to Sunderland for £5 million despite a cheeky bid from Championship club Middlesbrough. Stoke City were also busy as they brought in American attacker Brek Shea and surprisingly England goalkeeper Jack Butland. He had been subject to plenty of interest from European champions Chelsea but had rejected a move there on the grounds he wouldn't get played. His signing for the Potters appears to spell the end of Asmir Begovic's career at the Britannia and although Butland is being loaned back to Brimingham until the end of the season, it would seem on his return in the summer that Stoke's current No. 1 will seek a move away.
Aston Villa fans will be relieved they signed somebody. In fact they got two bodies. The first arrival was France Under-21 international Yacouba Sylla and the more surprising loan signature was of Spurs youngster Simon Dawkins. No-one knows how these two will fair in the Premier League but Villa fans and Paul Lambert will be hopeful of an instant impact. Over in Wigan, the Latics were delighted with the capture of former player Paul Scharner on loan to the end of the season. He is a hero in those parts and an excellent signing for the relegation candidates. Wigan did, however, miss out on highly rated Barnsley youngster John Stones, who decided to move to Everton instead. The Toffees also had a hopeful bid for Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo rejected.
In Europe, there was a flurry of activity but one move caught the eye and that was of Shakhtar Donetsk's attacker Willian. He had been attracting interest from Spurs and Chelsea but instead opted for a £34 million move to Russia with Anzhi Makhachkala.
Overall, deadline day provided us with a gloriously furious end to a statistically average transfer window. The Premier League spending just about topped £120 million – more than a £100m below 2011's record of £225m. This season's January figure was double that of last year when only £60m was spent but again, well below 2008 and 2009 when £170m and £175m were spent respectively.
It'll be no surprise that QPR were the overall big spenders after splashing out around £22 million, with Newcastle and Liverpool not far behind. Interestingly, this is the second year in a row that Newcastle and QPR have been January's top spenders.
Everyone's squads are now settled until the summer, when we get to do this whole merry-go-round all over again.