LONDON - Arsenal smashed their transfer record by luring German playmaker Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid on Monday, while Manchester United made a late move to sign Marouane Fellaini from Everton.
Amid dizzying activity in the closing hours of the close-season transfer window, Arsenal grabbed the headlines with a sensational swoop for Ozil worth a reported fee of £42.4 million ($66 million, 50 million euros, S$84.2 million).
The move came on the day that Gareth Bale was presented as a Madrid player after leaving Arsenal's arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of around £80 million, paving the way for Ozil's exit.
Arsenal said Ozil had signed a "long-term contract," with a reported duration of five years, after he underwent a medical examination in Munich.
"We are extremely pleased to have signed Mesut Ozil," said long-serving Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who had come under pressure from the club's fans to deliver a major signing.
"We have watched and admired him for some time as he has all the attributes I look for in an Arsenal player."
Ozil told the Arsenal website: "I am thrilled to be joining a club of the stature of Arsenal and am looking forward to playing in the Premier League."
Arsenal, who had never previously spent more than £15 million on a player, also announced the signing of 27-year-old Italy international goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano from Palermo on a season-long loan.
Ozil's transfer was the most significant development on a day when gross spending by Premier League clubs during the close-season transfer window surpassed £500 million for the first time, according to financial consultants Deloitte.
After a frustrating first summer as United manager, David Moyes brought in Belgian midfielder Fellaini, with whom he worked at Everton, in a deal worth £27.5 million.
"Marouane Fellaini has moved to Manchester United for a £27.5 million fee," Everton said in a statement.