Premier League clubs set a transfer spending record, despite just one top-10 side making a significant buy on deadline day.
And that major signing - Kurt Zouma's £12m move to Chelsea - saw the player immediately loaned back to St Etienne.
Accountants Deloitte said Premier League spending was £130m in January, up £10m year on year.
English top-flight clubs have now spent £760m this season, breaking 2008-09's record by £90m.
Clubs paid out £35m on 96 deals in England and Scotland on deadline day, a similar amount to last year. It is the fourth highest of the 13 mid-season transfer windows to date. The record is 2011's total of £225m.
Dan Jones, from Deloitte, said clubs were supported by record revenues with a new television deal bringing in an extra £600m across the top flight this season.
But he added: "Spending has again been driven by a minority of clubs, with just two accounting for more than 60% of the league's total spending.
"Around half of Premier League clubs chose not to spend this month."
The only other permanent deal by a club in the Premier League top 10 was Everton's purchase of 17-year-old Czech Republic goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek from Sparta Prague.
Arsenal brought in a loan signing - Sweden midfielder Kim Kallstrom from Spartak Moscow.
Deadline day was largely dominated by struggling Premier League teams and big-money deals that never materialised.
Fulham - who bought Olympiakos striker Konstantinos Mitroglou for £11m - and Crystal Palace were the most active in the top flight, bringing in five players each.
Liverpool had been expected to sign Ukraine forward Yevhen Konoplyanka in a £15m deal that fell through late on when Dnipro's owner did not sign the paperwork.
Manchester City were interested in Porto pair Eliaquim Mangala and Fernando but decided they were not willing to pay in excess of £40m for the duo.
The biggest buy in Scotland was Leigh Griffiths's move to Celtic from Wolves for an undisclosed fee.
January's major moves happened earlier in the month, with Juan Mata joining Manchester United from Chelsea for a club record £37.1m and Chelsea buying Nemanja Matic from Benfica for £21m.
On deadline day itself, Fulham also signed Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby on loan, Everton defender John Heitinga on a free transfer and Manchester United youngsters Ryan Tunnicliffe and Larnell Cole for undisclosed fees.
Palace bought in Blackpool winger Tom Ince on loan, Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey for £3m and they paid undisclosed fees for Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley, Southampton midfielder Jason Puncheon and Blackburn defender Scott Dann.
West Ham signed Napoli defender Pablo Armero on loan until the end of the season, while Sunderland spent £3m on Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt, their fifth transfer of January.
Cardiff City secured Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha on loan, their sixth transfer of the window.
Some big names, meanwhile, left England's top flight.
Fulham forward Dimitar Berbatov went to Monaco on loan and Southampton's record signing Dani Osvaldo, currently suspended by his club for fighting a team-mate in training, went on loan to Italian table toppers Juventus.
A few days earlier, Paris St-Germain paid £19m for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
The mid-season transfer window is usually bigger in England than on the continent and again that showed this year.
Brazil midfielder Hernanes went from Lazio to Inter Milan for a reported £16.5m, but he was the only big-money switch across the continent on deadline day.
The second-highest spending division in Europe over the month was France's Ligue 1, although they only spent about £52m, 40% that of the Premier League.
Teams in Italy's Serie A spent about £39m (30%) and Germany's Bundesliga, which provided last season's two Champions League finalists, £26m (20%), while Spain's clubs spent even less.