It had looked as if the Premier League champions were set to sign to Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera but attempts to try and bring the player to Old Trafford failed.
There was also talk of an unsuccessful bid for Real Madrid's Sami Khedira, while it remained to be seen whether or not Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who had apparently handed in a transfer request to Everton, would be announced as a United player.
Everton themselves brought in a striker, with Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku confirming his move from Chelsea on a season-long loan on Twitter.
Everton were also set to add Wigan midfielder James McCarthy to their squad after reportedly agreeing a fee with the Wigan, while a loan move for Manchester City's Gareth Barry was set to be finalised as well.
Everton's Merseyside rivals Liverpool made three signings early on deadline day, snapping up defensive duo Tiago Ilori and Mamadou Sakho from Sporting Lisbon and Paris St Germain respectively on permanent deals before bolstering their forward line with the capture of Victor Moses from Chelsea on loan until the end of the season.
Departing Anfield was striker Fabio Borini, recruited by Sunderland on loan for the rest of the campaign, and the Black Cats also signed a former Liverpool player, with left-back Andrea Dossena joining from Napoli.
Sunderland released forward Stephane Sessegnon, who became West Brom's record signing, although the fee was undisclosed.
Albion had earlier confirmed Marseille midfielder Morgan Amalfitano had joined them on loan until the end of the season and also the arrival of Northern Ireland international goalkeeper Lee Camp, who was a free agent, on a rolling contract until January
Stoke brought in Austria forward Marko Arnautovic from Werder Bremen and midfielder Stephen Ireland on a season-long loan deal from Aston Villa, who themselves announced the signing of Czech Republic striker Libor Kozak from Lazio.
There were three new faces at Crystal Palace in defenders Jack Hunt and Adrian Mariappa and midfielder Barry Bannan following their switches from Huddersfield, Reading and Villa respectively.
Swansea announced the capture of Getafe striker Alvaro Vazquez on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent move.
And Fulham completed the signing of defender Elsad Zverotic from Young Boys, with the Montenegro international signing an initial two-year deal at Craven Cottage.
(Edited by Cameron Macphail)