Plenty of loans but no mega deals as transfer window closes

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AC Milan's Nikola Kalinic(L) heads the ball with Inter Milan's Milan Skriniar during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Inter Milan in Milan, Italy, on April 4, 2018. The match ended with a 0-0 draw. (Xinhua/Alberto Lingria)

The transfer window closed gently across much of Europe on Monday evening with a flurry of loan deals instead of the anticipated bang of a mega move.

Several big-name players changed clubs on loans, including Mauro Icardi, Nikola Kalinic on loan from Atletico Madrid and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The biggest names among the permanent transfer were a pair of Central American veterans: Keylor Navas and Javier Hernandez.

The closure interrupted the saga surrounding Neymar, the world's most expensive player, who will stay at Paris Saint-Germain having failed to get the move back to Barcelona that he craved.

Real Madrid had also been linked with Neymar as well as Manchester United World Cup winner Paul Pogba and Tottenham's Christian Eriksen as part of the expensive refurbishment of Zinedine Zidane's squad.

Pogba excited some suspicious speculation earlier in the day when he dropped out of France's two upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers with an "ankle problem."

Real did do one deal with PSG. It even involved a World Cup winner, but the marquee name was the Madrid club's backup goalkeeper.

Navas, a 32-year-old Costa Rican who won the Champions League three times in Madrid, joined PSG with the younger French international Alphonse Areola moving in the opposite direction on loan.

PSG also pulled a late rabbit from its sleeve late with the loan signing of Argentine striker Icardi "with an option to buy."

Icardi tied for top scorer in Serie A in 2017-18, but he was stripped of the Inter Milan captaincy last season and barred from full training. He started legal action against the club.

Barcelona was not entirely inactive, extending the contract of attacking midfielder Rafinha and then loaning him to Celta Vigo, where he also spent the 2013-14 season.

Even without a deadline blockbuster, La Liga clubs spent a record $1.7 billion on players including Eden Hazard, Rodri and Ferland Mendy to Real, Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong to Barca and Joao Felix to Atletico Madrid.

Manchester United sold 29-year-old Italy fullback Matteo Darmian to Parma.

The fee was reportedly $1.7 million.

Mexican striker Javier Hernandez joined Sevilla from West Ham on a three-year deal.

The Spanish club reportedly paid 7.3 million for the 31-year-old "Chicharito".

Turkish giant Fenerbahce signed midfielder Luiz Gustavo, a 32-year-old Brazil international and former Bayern Munich man, from Marseille for $7.7 million.

Meanwhile, Jerome Boateng apparently did not want to change his address.

The 30-year-old Bayern and Germany centerback had been reportedly on the point of moving to Juventus to replace captain Giorgio Chiellini, who is recovering from a serious knee injury. Boateng decided to stay in Munich.

Other Italian clubs shuffled strikers.

AC Milan swapped players with Eintracht Frankfurt. Croatian forward Ante Rebic moved to Italy on a two-year loan, while Portuguese Andre Silva moved the other way.

Roma borrowed two veteran strikers while loaning out a young one.

It took Kalinic on loan from Atletico Madrid and Mkhitaryan from Arsenal while sending Patrik Schick to RB Leipzig.

Roma said it had an option to buy the 31-year-old Kalinic, a member of the Croatia squad that reached the 2018 World Cup final, for $9.4 million.

Mkhitaryan, a 30-year-old Armenian, made his last appearance for the Gunners as a substitute as they were held to a draw at home by Tottenham last Sunday.

Leipzig has an option to buy Schick, a 23-year-old Czech international, for $32 million if it qualifies for the Champions League again next season.

The Bundesliga club was plugging its own gap. Leipzig said it needed another attacker after loaning Jean-Kevin Augustin to Monaco on Sunday.

Napoli signed Fernando Llorente on a free transfer.

The 34-year old Spanish World Cup winner was a free agent after helping Tottenham to the Champions League final last season.

Meanwhile, Galatasaray confirmed the signing of veteran Colombian striker Radamel Falcao from Monaco.

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