Boss Carlos Carvalhal has revealed why Sheffield Wednesday chose to sign Jacob Butterfield instead of Craig Bryson in the recent transfer window.
It has emerged the Owls spoke to Championship rivals Derby County about the possibility of bringing in the midfield duo on deadline day.
Ultimately, Butterfield joined Wednesday on a season-long loan deal in a swap for striker Sam Winnall.
Speaking earlier this week, Rams boss Gary Rowett claimed the Owls initially contacted them over Bryson’s availability.
Derby eventually let Bryson move to early pace-setters Cardiff City on loan, with Carvalhal admitting he would have liked to have signed Bryson and Butterfield before the transfer window closed.
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Carvalhal told The Star: “It was the chairman (of Sheffield Wednesday, Dejphon Chansiri) who contacted me to ask if we want Bryson.
“It was such a big surprise that I said chairman, we want (Bryson), but we wanted the player in the past and he will cost a lot of money.
“Also his salary is very high, it will be difficult to achieve this player. (He said) no it won’t, because he is available to loan. I said ‘are you serious?’ Give me some time to check because I need to see if Bryson has any problems, like surgery.
“This was in the morning. I think after lunch - during this period I was analysing Bryson - he contacted me again and said we’ve had contact from Jacob’s agent asking if we want him. (I said) we want him, of course, but how? (Do) they want to sell? (He said) no it can be on loan. I was surprised again. I remember saying to the chairman, bring both. But we couldn’t.
“In that moment he said to me think and let me know which player we want. So we analysed - we are talking about two very, very good midfielders, it was a surprise that Derby put them out of the team. One thing was very important, it was crucial to us, (is that Butterfield plays in) the positions that really we need.
“Second, he is 27-years-old and when we bring him here we said we want an option to buy him, because he can be our player in the future. It’s something we want a lot. It means we think that he can stay in the club.
“I said to the chairman even though I like both, I prefer Jacob. He is perfect for us. I hope Jacob does very well here and we stay with him in the future. I will be very happy if this happens.”
Derby do not have the option to buy Winnall on a permanent basis next summer and Carvalhal says the forward could still have a future at Hillsborough.
Carvalhal said: “I will be very happy if Sam scores goals, plays very well in Derby and he comes back to us next season.”