The future of Ashley Cole remained unclear as the midnight transfer deadline passed without official confirmation whether his protracted switch to Chelsea had been completed in time.
A £5million-cash deal plus William Gallas is understood to have been accepted by Arsenal for the England left-back, with both men undergoing medicals on Thursday evening.
While all the relevant paperwork may well have been lodged with the Premier League, neither club had made an announcement as such by 00:30 BST.
Indeed, it was left to Real Madrid to confirm a swap loan deal had been agreed for Gunners winger Jose Antonio Reyes, with Brazilian striker Julio Baptista moving in the opposite direction.
Reyes, who is contracted to the Gunners until 2011, has struggled to adapt to English life and revealed he was joining Fabio Capello's side in an interview with Radio Marca - a statement later confirmed by the Spanish club on their official website.
'Now that I have signed, I feel like the happiest man in the world. However, until I had signed, I was not calm,' said the player who turned 23 on Friday.