Radamel Falcao completed a transfer deadline move to Manchester United after Manchester City and Arsenal rejected the opportunity to pursue a deal costing up to €35m to sign the AS Monaco forward.
alcao, one year into a €437,000-a-week five-year contract at Monaco, landed in Manchester last night ahead of a medical at United's Aon Training Centre after the club's executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, negotiated a season-long loan with a view to a €45m permanent move for the Colombia international.
With City and Arsenal both told by Monaco and Falcao's representatives that a deal for the 28-year-old would involve a €12.6m loan fee plus the player's €22.7m annual salary, efforts to take the former Atletico Madrid player to the Emirates or Etihad failed to progress over the weekend.
And with Real Madrid also pulling out of the race to sign Falcao, United accelerated their interest in the striker on Saturday evening after agreeing to pay a €7.5m loan fee and the player's wages, with a sizeable reduction on the tax-free salary paid by Monaco.
Although senior figures at United last night insisted they would not be paying Falcao's Monaco salary in full, it is understood that he will exceed club captain Wayne Rooney as Old Trafford's top earner with a wage in the region of €335,000-a-week.
With United also concluding the €17.5m signing of Ajax midfielder Daley Blind yesterday, the capture of Falcao took the club's summer outlay on transfer fees to a staggering €192m on six players, including the €75.5m British record signing of Angel di Maria from Real Madrid.
In an effort to trim Louis van Gaal's squad on the final day of the transfer window, following the earlier departures of 10 of last season's first-team squad playing staff, Mexican forward Javier Hernandez completed a season-long loan move to Real Madrid while Danny Welbeck looked set for a move to Arsenal as the deadline loomed.
Tom Cleverley, however, appeared to have rejected loan moves to both Everton and Aston Villa.
With Welbeck and Hernandez both heading for the exit, the prospect of being left with only Rooney, Robin van Persie and teenager James Wilson as attacking options also influenced Van Gaal's decision.
Despite suggestions that the move was triggered by Van Persie requiring knee surgery to repair damage sustained while playing against Olympiakos in the Champions League in March, it is understood that the Holland forward does not require an operation and that he is merely still searching for full fitness following an extended break after the World Cup.
Falcao is expected to leave Manchester upon completion of his medical to link up with the Colombia squad ahead of Friday's friendly against Brazil in Miami. But he is due to return to Old Trafford over the weekend ahead of a possible home debut against QPR on Sunday week.