Sheffield Wednesday have signed midfielder Graham Kavanagh on loan until the end of the season, having sold fellow Irishman, Glenn Whelan, for an undisclosed fee to Stoke City.

Whelan leaves for the Potters after three-and-a-half years at Hillsborough, having signed on a free transfer from Manchester City in July 2004. The midfield man made 159 appearances for the Owls, scoring 16 goals.

To fill the gap left by Whelan, Brian Laws has acted quickly to bring back Graham Kavanagh on loan from Sunderland. Kavanagh proved a key figure in Wednesday's climb away from the foot of the Championship during his earlier six-week loan at Hillsborough starting in September 2007.

Since returning to the Stadium Of Light, Kavanagh has played just one match for Roy Keane's Premier League team and his experience and enthusiasm will once again be welcomed by the Wednesday faithful.

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The Republic of Ireland international, 34, has recorded a total of £1.75m in transfer fees during his career, having also played for Cardiff City, Stoke City, Wigan and Middlesbrough, clocking up more than 500 appearances along the way.

Manager, Brian Laws, said: "I would like to thank Glenn Whelan for his attitude, application and hard work since I have been at this football club. The only thing he couldn't give me was his signature and I have a responsibility to Sheffield Wednesday.

"A decision had to be made whether to keep him or let him go and while he is worth a lot of money today he would have been worth virtually nothing in transfer fees tomorrow."

Glenn Whelan

Laws continued: "I spoke to the Board about this situation and they assured me that all the money from selling Glenn Whelan would go towards the playing budget. This has allowed us to bring in Graham Kavanagh in his place."

"It is vital that we stay in this division and therefore if I have to move any player out it is important that I can bring others in.

"Graham Kavanagh has already been here but he had to go back to Sunderland after his previous loan deal ended. He showed great presence and leadership during his time here and it is no coincidence that we saw a significant upturn in results while Graham was here before so I am delighted to be able to welcome him back."

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