THE TRANSFER window finally slammed shut until January, prompting frenzied last-minute wheeling and dealing. Michael Owen has tied his future to Newcastle, putting pen to paper to a four-year deal, but the England striker did not come cheaply. Sold to Real Madrid for 12 million euros only a year ago, the former Liverpool player cost the Magpies 25 million euros, a price his old club were not prepared to pay.

In fact, Liverpool failed to add anyone to their squad, losing out on Benfica hit man Simão, after the Portuguese champions upped the price from 12 to 15 million euros. Rafael Benitez will now have to rely on the hit-and-miss trio of Cisse, Morientes and Crouch during the first half of the season.

Spurs splashed out 10 million euros on Newcastle’s Jermaine Jenas, a good investment providing the talented midfielder settles in London, and a further three million on Eindhoven’s South Korean defender, Lee Young-Pyo.

Last but not least, Polish striker Grzegorz Rasiak found his way to White Hart Lane on the stroke of midnight. The international was purloined from Derby, cutting out Wolves, who believed they had their man and is set to replace the suspended Egyptian Mido.

David O’Leary has bolstered the Villa defence with the five million euro signing of Eindhoven’s Wildred Bouma but, to me, Everton have landed the bargain buy of the year in the shape of exciting Holland winger, Andy van der Meyde, from Inter Milan.

In Portugal, things were no less frenetic. At Sporting, Rochemback left for Middlesbrough, while manager José Peseiro orchestrated a last-minute raid on Liga rivals Braga. Portugal international João Alves as well as Brazilian winger Wender have been snatched to give the Lions more bite in midfield.

Benfica’s disappointing start to the season – one draw, one loss – has prompted Ronald Koeman to buy once more. 26-year-old Italian striker, Fabrizio Miccoli, has arrived on a one-year loan deal from Juventus, while Greek international midfielder, Giorgios Karagounis, formerly with Inter Milan, will play his football in the Estádio da Luz for the next three years. Porto have snapped up 22-year-old Czech Republic defender, Marek Cech.