Date: 16th August 2007 at 9:14am
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Wednesday midfielder Glenn Whelan has played down talk of an exit before transfer deadline day despite being linked with a move to Championship rivals Stoke this week.

We here at Vital Sheffield Wednesday believed Stoke City were to make an offer for Wednesday’s player of the year from last term with the Irishman stalling on a new contract offer.

The former Manchester City midfielder has become a key cog in Brian Laws’ plans but the club could risk losing him for nothing come next summer should the player fail to sign a new deal at S6.

But Whelan has revealed he is happy playing his football at Hillsborough and does not want a move away from the club.

‘I have never said I want to leave Sheffield Wednesday,’ he told the Sheffield Star.

‘I’m under contract. I have been offered a new deal but everyone knows I have not accepted it at this time.

‘I’m not worried about the contract issue at the moment; I’m concentrating on playing in the starting 11. Last year, we had a terrific season and we were just unfortunate to miss out on the play-offs. But as a team, we want to do better. I did well but I don’t want to sit back and relax on that – I want to play games and do better this year.’

Premiership side Reading were also rumoured to be mounting a £1.5 million offer for the former Republic of Ireland U21 captain, while Sunderland were also thought to be interested.

But Whelan is fully focussed on reaching the promised land in the blue and white of the Owls.

He added: ‘From the club’s point of view it’s just speculation but it doesn’t concern me at all.

‘Any player would want to play in the Premiership, but it’s not going to happen if we don’t win games and that’s what we need to do.’