Chelsea produced the biggest surprise of the summer transfer window by re-signing David Luiz from Paris Saint-Germain on deadline-day as Manchester City streamlined its bloated squad by sending a quartet out on loan.
Arsenal and Liverpool also offloaded unwanted players on Wednesday.
Jack Wilshere is heading on a season-long loan from Arsenal to Bournemouth, which wasn’t in the Premier League when the injury-plagued midfielder last completed 90 minutes of club football in September 2014. Liverpool got troubled striker Mario Balotelli off its books, with the Italian joining French club Nice.
It was a busy final day of player trading for Premier League clubs, who have collectively spent more than 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) for the first time in a transfer window — nearly 1.2 billion pounds ($1.5 billion) total by the close of play — as they reinvest their new bumper television windfalls.
Of the 20 top-flight clubs, 13 broke their transfer records.
Manager Antonio Conte has been looking to bolster his defense to steer Chelsea back into the Champions League. And a club renowned for bringing back former managers and players went back to the future again by pursuing an unexpected deal to return Brazil central defender Luiz to Stamford Bridge on a three-year contract.
British media reports put the transfer fee at around 32 million pounds ($42 million), about 20 million pounds less than Chelsea sold Luiz for in the 2014 summer transfer window.
“We had a fantastic story during my first time at the club and I want to help the team and Antonio Conte achieve a lot of success,” said Luiz, a Champions League winner in 2012 at Chelsea. “I always had a wonderful relationship with the fans and I am looking forward to wearing the blue shirt at Stamford Bridge once again.”
Spanish left back Marcos Alonso also joined Chelsea for a reported 23 million pounds ($30.2 million) to provide competition at left back for Cesar Azpilicueta.
Alonso, who previously had spells in England at Bolton and Sunderland, would also be a good option as a left wing back if Conte decides to use a three-man defense.
After an offseason of heavy spending under new coach Pep Guardiola, City sent Joe Hart, Wilfried Bony, Samir Nasri, Eliaquim Mangala and Jason Denayer out on loan for the rest of the season.
Guardiola has overseen the spending of more than $200 million on new players since taking over as City coach this offseason, and left it late to trim his 30-man squad. It meant getting rid of City’s starting goalkeeper for the past six years, as well as three other players who cost the team a combined 95 million pounds ($125 million).
Heading the clear-out was Hart, the England goalkeeper who was loaned to Italian club Torino after dropping to third choice at City behind new signing Claudio Bravo and Willy Caballero.
Hart was out of favor at the Premier League leaders because his footwork and passing wasn’t up to the level demanded by Guardiola, who likes goalkeepers to help start attacks and be involved in play.
Bony, who hasn’t played a minute for City under Guardiola, joined Stoke after seeing his career stall since joining from Swansea for 28 million pounds ($37 million) in January 2015.
A combination of international call-ups, injuries, illness, poor form and the presence of Sergio Aguero prevented the Ivory Coast striker from establishing himself at City.
Nasri was the third player to leave on loan, with the Frenchman heading to Spanish club Sevilla for the season. Guardiola said Nasri returned for preseason training “overweight.”
France center back Mangala also departed to Valencia and Belgium defender Jason Denayer switched to Sunderland for the season.
The champions broke their transfer record to sign striker Islam Slimani from Sporting Lisbon. The Portuguese club said the move to Leicester was worth 30 million euros ($33.5 million), potentially rising by another 5 million euros ($5.5 million).
The 28-year-old Slimani is linking up with fellow Algerian Riyad Mahrez, who helped Leicester produce one of the biggest sporting surprises last season by winning the Premier League.
The north London club added three new names before the transfer window closed Wednesday night. Midfielder Moussa Sissoko joined from Newcastle for a reported 30 million pounds ($39 million) and fellow Frenchman, winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, completed his move from Marseille. Goalkeeper Pau Lopez arrived on loan from Espanyol.
Gabon midfielder Didier Ndong joined Sunderland from French side Lorient for 16 million euros ($18 million), the seventh signing by recently hired manager David Moyes and the biggest up-front fee paid by the club for a player.
Burnley said it broke its transfer record for the second time this month in signing Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick from second-tier Derby but the fee wasn’t disclosed.
Of the free agents, former Real Madrid and Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa secured a deal at West Ham and ex-Reading forward Hal Robson-Kanu joined West Bromwich Albion after impressing with Wales at the European Championship.
Hull brought in midfielder James Weir from Manchester United and striker Dieumerci Mbokani on loan from Dynamo Kiev. Middlesbrough signed Adama Traore from Aston Villa, while fellow winger Albert Adomah went in the opposite direction to the second-tier club.