BARNSLEY have announced the departure of Alex Mowatt - despite offering him 'the most lucrative deal ever offered to a Reds player'.

The midfielder played 162 games for the Reds, scoring 20 times in all competitions, and most recently served as club captain.

His contract expired yesterday, making him a free agent.

It's understood Mowatt, 26, had a medical this week at West Bromwich Albion where he would join up with former head coach Valerien Ismael, who left Barnsley last week.

The club said in a statement: "A key player in each of the last three seasons, a regular under three separate head coaches, Alex’s efforts were exemplary and the Club entered discussions over an extension to his contract at the earliest juncture.

"Despite the most lucrative deal ever offered to a Reds player, Mowatt has decided against extending his Oakwell career.

"The club would like to thank Alex Mowatt for his dedication and professional attitude, particularly as captain over the last two seasons and wishes him well in his future endeavours."