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Saturday, 1 February, 2003, 10:05 GMT
Transfer window closes
Jonathan Woodgate was the biggest signing
Newcastle were the biggest spenders

After a month of little activity, the transfer window finally burst into life on deadline day.

The window of opportunity was closed shut to Premiership clubs at midnight on 31 January, but not before a flurry of late deals.

Until the 11th hour the January transfer window, imposed by Fifa to allow clubs a single month of transfer activity, saw few comings and goings.

But perhaps realising the significance of it being their last chance to sign players until the summer, eight top flight clubs pushed through moves.

As expected Newcastle made the major swoop of the day with the 9m signing of Jonathan Woodgate from Leeds.

Woodgate's move north completed the exodus from Elland Road, with the club desperate to reduce debts of 77m.

In their fight for financial survival, Leeds let three England internationals go in January for what could be considered knock-down prices.

Lee Bowyer was the first to go early in the month, costing West Ham a mere 100,000 to take him off the payroll.

And Robbie Fowler, who cost Leeds 11m not long ago, went to Manchester City for 6m, to be paid in two 3m instalments.

Leeds were active in the transfer market on deadline day, although the loan signing of Raul Bravo from Real Madrid went almost unnoticed alongside the losses of Woodgate and Fowler.

Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren made significant moves, securing the signings of striker Malcolm Christie and defender Chris Riggott from Derby County.

McClaren was also the last of the big spenders, signing Bolton striker Michael Ricketts for a fee of 3.5m plus a percentage of profits, just half an hour before the close of the window.

Arsenal bagged former Lens goalkeeper Guillaume Warmuz until the end of the season.

Relegation-threatened Bolton brought in four new faces, snapping up Swedish defender Ndiwa Lord-Kangana, Spanish striker Salva Ballesta and French duo Florent Laville and Pierre Yves-Andre.

Southampton strengthened their squad by signing the highly-rated David Prutton from Nottingham Forest for 2.5m and Derby defender Danny Higginbotham for 1.5m.

West Ham's defensive weaknesses have been well documented, and boss Glenn Roeder bolstered his squad with the signing of Rufus Brevett from Fulham.

Fellow-strugglers Sunderland also made a last-minute signing, bringing Moroccan defender Talal El Karkouri on a six-month loan deal from Paris St Germain.

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