Clubs in the Premier League spent in excess of £500 million ($780 million, 590 million euros) on new players during the close-season transfer window; a record for the English top flight.
Here, AFP Sports looks at the 10 biggest transfers involving English clubs to have taken place since the end of the 2012-13 season (all transfer fees as reported by British media). Also see: The top 10 in pics
GARETH BALE (Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid/ESP; £77-86 million)
For all the money lavished on new players over the past three months, the most high-profile transfer involving an English club was a sale. Welsh forward Bale, 24, swapped White Hart Lane for the Bernabeu after a dazzling season with Tottenham in which he scored 26 league goals. Reports in England claimed he had broken the world transfer record established by his new Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo's £80 million move from Manchester United in 2009, but Spanish reports said the fee was lower. (Also read: Bale says Ronaldo is the boss at Real Madrid)
MESUT OZIL (Real Madrid/ESP to Arsenal; £42.4 million)
One downside of Bale's move to Madrid for the selling club was that it persuaded the Spanish giants to allow Germany international Mesut Ozil to leave for Spurs' arch rivals Arsenal. Manager Arsene Wenger has been criticised by Arsenal's fans for his reluctance to spend money on new players in recent years, but he smashed the club's transfer record to bring the immensely gifted 24-year-old playmaker to the Emirates Stadium.
ERIK LAMELA (Roma/ITA to Tottenham Hotspur; £30 million)
After being pipped to a Champions League place by Arsenal last season, Spurs spent around £110 million on seven players, with Lamela the third new recruit to break the club's transfer record. The 21-year-old Argentine attacking midfielder is a talented dribbler with a fine left foot and will be expected to soften the blow of Bale's departure.
WILLIAN (Anzhi Makhachkala/RUS to Chelsea; £30 million)
Tottenham also hoped to add Brazilian schemer Willian to their ranks, but after completing a medical at the club, his move to White Hart Lane was hijacked by Jose Mourinho's Chelsea. The tall attacking midfielder with the afro haircut scored against Chelsea twice for Shakhtar Donetsk in last season's Champions League and left Anzhi as part of a fire sale sanctioned by the Russian club's billionaire owner Suleiman Kerimov.
FERNANDINHO (Shakhtar Donetsk/UKR to Manchester City; £30 million)
A former team-mate of Willian's at Shakhtar, Fernandinho arrived in England two months earlier after signing for 2012 league champions Manchester City. An industrious box-to-box midfielder, the 28-year-old will hope to form an understanding with Ivorian powerhouse Yaya Toure in the centre of the City midfield.
MAROUANE FELLAINI (Everton to Manchester United; £27.5 million)
New Manchester United manager David Moyes saw approaches for several transfer targets rejected before finally turning to Fellaini, with whom he worked at previous club Everton. The 25-year-old Belgian international will bring brawn and aerial presence to a central midfield that has looked short of power in recent seasons.
ROBERTO SOLDADO (Valencia/ESP to Tottenham Hotspur; £26 million)
After scoring over 25 goals in three consecutive seasons for Valencia, Soldado took a risk by moving to England as he looks to nail down a place in the Spain squad for next year's World Cup. He has made a convincing start to life in north London, however, scoring the winning goal from the penalty spot in his first two league games.
STEVAN JOVETIC (Fiorentina/ITA to Manchester City; £22 million)
Jovetic, a 23-year-old Montenegro international, was signed to bolster City's forward line following the departures of Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez. A creative second striker, who had previously been linked to Arsenal, he is still to make his competitive debut due to a hamstring complaint.
ALVARO NEGREDO (Sevilla/ESP to Manchester City; £20 million)
Negredo, a rival to Soldado at international level, alighted at the Etihad Stadium on the same July day as Jovetic after four consistently impressive seasons with Sevilla. An athletic target man, the 28-year-old scored his first City goal with a stoppage-time header in a 3-2 defeat at Cardiff City on August 25.
ANDRE SCHUERRLE (Bayer Leverkusen/GER to Chelsea; £18 million)
Germany international Schuerrle joined Chelsea in June, adding to the dizzying array of forward players at Mourinho's disposal. The hard-working 22-year-old can play in several positions across the front line and was used as a lone striker in the recent 0-0 draw at Manchester United.