Skipper Purse leaves Sheffield Wednesday by mutual consent

SHEFFIELD Wednesday manager Alan Irvine last night wished Darren Purse well after the captain left Hillsborough.

Purse's departure by mutual consent came a few hours after the Owls boss confirmed an inquiry about him from Millwall.

Irvine said: "I'd like to thank Darren for his professionalism and hard work, and I wish him well with the rest of his career."

There is no confirmation that the Londoner is heading for Millwall but reports from the capital last night claimed the Lions were planning talks with a centre-back today and hoped to wrap up a deal imminently.

The exit ends an up-and-down time for the 33-year-old since his arrival on a free transfer from Cardiff in the summer of 2009.

He was not at his best in the early weeks of last season but bounced back to become a contender for an outfield Player of the Year rating.

This season has been mixed for him, and last Saturday after his foul gave Charlton a penalty and a 2-0 lead he came in for flak from some home supporters.

The fact that his contract was due to expire this summer, the arrival of three new defenders, and the possibility of an opening elsewhere will have been other factors in the equation.

His exit is understood to have been amicable, and he has left with the club's respect for his commitment and leadership.

For example, Irvine added: "The lad has played a number of games after having injections; he had an injection in his toe last week. He played the games."

Irvine has also dismissed claims that he is signing Lee Hughes from Notts County for 200,000. He did confirm that he made an inquiry - but that was before he filled a striker vacancy by buying Gary Madine.

On Hughes, he said: "He was among many players that we were simply seeking information about. We didn't make any offer and we were told he wasn't available."

The Owls have also been told by Brentford that winger Myles Weston is not for sale: "We asked about him. They said he wasn't for sale. If they don't want to sell him, then we move on."

Irvine has also been linked with Leicester winger or forward Danny N'Guessan: "We're aware of him but we're not close to signing him."

He did did not expect any further deals before tomorrow's match at Leyton Orient.

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