They may be winless in competitive fixtures so far this season, but Manchester United scored a victory of sorts on European football's transfer deadline day.
United secured the services of the highly rated Colombian striker Radamel Falcao on a year-long loan from Monaco -- reported to be worth £6 million ($9.9 million), according to British media -- as part of a frantic finish.
The window closed at midnight (CET) Monday, but United was granted an extension to complete the deal.
Two of its English Premier League rivals, Arsenal and Manchester City, had reportedly been prepared to pay £55 million ($92 million) to sign Falcao, but Louis van Gaal's side won the race for the former Atletico Madrid forward's signature.
The pact includes an option to buy the player outright at the end of the loan spell.
"I am delighted to be joining Manchester United on loan this season. Manchester United is the biggest club in the world and is clearly determined to get back to the top," Falcao told the club's Website. "I am looking forward to working with Louis van Gaal and contributing to the team's success at this very exciting period in the club's history."
Falcao has a superb goals-to-games ratio. In two seasons at Portuguese side Porto he scored 41 times in 51 appearances before joining Atletico in 2011, where he netted 52 times in 68 matches.
Last season at Monaco was proving equally fertile with 11 goals in 20 matches before a knee injury sustained in January ruled the 28-year-old out of action for the rest of the season and the World Cup in Brazil.
Falcao has since returned, playing in Monaco's pre-season friendlies last month, and will strengthen United's attacking options, which already include England international Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie. The latter helped guide the Netherlands to the semifinals in Brazil this summer.
Falcao follows Angel Di Maria through the doors at Old Trafford -- the Argentine winger signed from Real Madrid for a British record fee of £59.7 million ($98.7 million) last month.
Dutch defender Daley Blind joined the 20-time English champions from Ajax, but some familiar names, especially strikers, headed for the exit.
Javier Hernandez has joined Real Madrid on a season-long loan while fellow striker Danny Welbeck moved to Arsenal for an undisclosed fee on a long-term deal -- though the London club said the transfer is subject to the completion of regulatory formalities
Shinji Kagawa is returning to the Bundesliga where he will rejoin his former club Borussia Dortmund. The Japanese midfielder joined United in 2012 and rarely featured, scoring six goals in 57 appearances.
Hernandez arrived at Old Trafford in 2010, scoring 59 goals in 159 appearances and winning two English Premier League titles, but has fallen out of favor in the past two seasons.
A statement posted on the official Real Madrid website said that the club also have the option to buy the 26-year-old at the end of the loan spell.
Elsewhere, current EPL leaders Chelsea have offloaded Dutch midfielder Marco van Ginkel to AC Milan on a season-long loan.
Van Ginkel joined the West Londoners from Vitesse Arnhem last summer for £8 million ($13.3 million), but his first team opportunities have been limited to just four appearances.
The 21-year-old follows Fernando Torres from Stamford Bridge to the San Siro -- the Spanish striker agreed a two-year loan deal at the weekend.