Towell rejects Millers approach to join Salford
Midfielder Richie Towell will not be at Rotherham United next season.
The Irishman has spent the last two campaigns on loan from Brighton, but the Millers have been unable to lure him to the AESSEAL New York Stadium on a permanent basis.
Towell is seeking a new challenge having been released by the Seagulls with his contract expiring and has signed for ambitious League Two newcomers Salford City.
The Millers tried to tie up a permanent deal for the 27-year-old in January but the three parties involved could not agree terms.
"The conversation in January didn't go the way everybody was hoping it would go,” assistant manager Richie Barker said.
“It was nobody's fault. The contract situation just couldn't be sorted at that particular time.”
Towell's first season at the club was an overwhelming success as he was a key player in the memorable promotion to League One and the Millers' pursuit to bring him back to the club was one that lasted all summer.
However, he did not have the same impact in the Championship and ended the season in and out of the team.
Barker added: "The second half of the campaign didn't perhaps go as well for Richie as he would have liked, then we had the emergence of young Wilesy (Ben Wiles) and, towards the end of the season, Crooksy (Matt Crooks).
"With Semi (Ajayi) also playing in midfield as well, it limited Richie's opportunities. “The season sort of fizzled out for him really and he's now free to explore whatever he wants to do."
Towell played 79 times for the Millers, without ever being their player, and his impact in the League One promotion season mean he is remembered fondly.
“He's been a valuable part of the squad for the last two years," Barker added.
"He will be fondly remembered even though, oddly enough, he was never actually our player.
"He played a big part for us in his two seasons. He was excellent in League One and proved at times in the Championship that he could play at that level."
Meanwhile, the club's first friendly of their pre-season tour to Germany has been announced, with a game against third-tier side 1. FC Magdeburg.