Manchester provided the stage for a dramatic transfer deadline day that was headlined by Robinho's unexpected move to Eastlands.
Dimitar Berbatov's switch to United from Tottenham took few by surprise but City's successful courtship of Robinho was kept under wraps until late last night.
Mark Hughes' side even launched an audacious bid to sign Berbatov but when it became obvious the Bulgarian had his heart set on Old Trafford, they ramped up their interest in Robinho.
Chelsea, who had pursued the Brazilian all summer and remained confident he would join them, found their approach ambushed by City, who were being bankrolled by Abu Dhabi United Group's takeover.
A spokesman for the Stamford Bridge club later revealed they were unwilling to match City's £32.4million offer for the former Santos forward.
The excitement at Eastlands - where bids were also made for Valencia striker David Villa and Stuttgart forward Mario Gomez - overshadowed events in the red half of Manchester.
Berbatov brought a welcome conclusion to his summer-long transfer saga when he signed a four-year deal for a fee Spurs confirmed to be £30.75million.
As part of the deal, Fraizer Campbell moved to White Hart Lane for a year on loan while Spurs will not pursue a complaint against United for making an illegal approach to the player.
Spurs had been the busiest Premier League club earlier today after signing £14million Russia striker Roman Pavlyuchenko and Croatia right-back Vedran Corluka from City.
Defender Corluka, 22, joined Croatia team-mate Luka Modric at Spurs after putting pen to paper on a deal thought to be worth £8.5million.
In the pick of the rest of the day's activity, Liverpool captured Spain winger Albert Riera from La Liga side Espanyol for an undisclosed fee.
The 26-year-old signed a four-year contract after choosing Rafael Benitez's side over several other clubs, including neighbours Everton.
He joined Vitor Flora at Anfield after the 18-year-old Brazilian, who holds an Italian passport, agreed a free transfer.
But striker Andriy Voronin and full-back Steven Finnan departed Liverpool for Hertha Berlin and Espanyol respectively.
Not to be outdone by their Merseyside rivals, Everton broke their club record to sign Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini for an initial £15million from Standard Liege.
They also confirmed the signing of French striker Louis Saha from Manchester United for an undisclosed fee.
Saha signed a two-year deal with an option for a third year and was joined at Goodison by Wigan keeper Carlo Nash.
Meanwhile, Newcastle completed the signing of 22-year-old Spain Under-21 striker Xisco on a five-year deal from La Liga side Deportivo La Coruna for an undisclosed fee.
Defender George McCartney rejoined Sunderland on a five-year contract from West Ham for an undisclosed fee, becoming Roy Keane's 10th signing of the summer.
Premier League new boys Hull and Stoke were also busy, with the Tigers bringing in Daniel Cousin from Rangers for an undisclosed fee and Kamil Zayatte on loan from Young Boys.
Stoke brought defender Danny Higginbotham back from Sunderland while young midfielder Tom Soares moved from Crystal Palace for £1.25million and Michael Tonge arrived from Sheffield United in a £2million deal.