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Plymouth Argyle could be set to part with Darren Purse

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 04, 2012

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Plymouth Argyle are understood to have made their captain, Darren Purse, available for transfer.

The 35-year-old centre-back has had his name circulated to all Football League clubs, according to sources.

Financial, not footballing, reasons are thought to be behind Argyle's decision as the consequences of below-budget attendances at Home Park this season start to bite.

Purse is under contract to the npower League Two club until the end of this season and a move away from Home Park cannot happen until the January transfer window.

The experienced defender will complete a three-match suspension when Argyle play one of his former clubs, Oxford United, in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy southern quarter-finals at Home Park tonight (7pm).

Purse was banned after being sent off for serious foul play in the 3-0 defeat League Two away to Fleetwood Town on November 17.

Purse has had a sound career which has seen him make more than 600 first-team appearances. Argyle tried to sign him on loan from Millwall in October 2011 but were not allowed to do so by the Football League because they were in administration.

Purse, instead, had a loan spell at Yeovil Town that month. Then, after Devon businessman James Brent successfully took Argyle out of administration with his takeover of the club, Purse signed for the Pilgrims at the end of November that year.

He initially moved to Home Park on loan, but completed a full transfer at the start of January 2012. With Purse a commanding presence at centre-back, Argyle successfully escaped the threat of relegation from League Two last season. He made 24 appearances for the Pilgrims in the 2011/12 campaign, scoring two goals, and has added a further 17 starts this term.

Purse took over the captaincy at Argyle after the departure of midfielder Simon Walton to Hartlepool United in July. He was in south Wales last Sunday when two of his former clubs, Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday, met in a Championship clash. He was involved in BBC Radio Sheffield's coverage of the game.

Argyle return to action tonight after a ten-day break and with a spot in the last eight of the JPT at stake. They have not played since losing 1-0 at home to Chesterfield in League Two on November 24.

Oxford, unlike Argyle, were involved in the second round of the FA Cup last Saturday, when they drew 3-3 away to Accrington Stanley.

Argyle manager Carl Fletcher admitted that his players' training schedule had been adjusted because of the ten-day break but he added: "The lads have worked hard and are looking forward to the Oxford game."

The Pilgrims reached the southern quarter-finals of the JPT with a 2-1 home triumph over Aldershot Town on October 9. Fletcher said: "You only need a couple of wins and, before you know it, you are playing for a place at Wembley."

Plymouth left-back Robbie Williams is still ruled out by a stomach muscle injury, but midfielder Luke Young could return to the squad tonight.

Young, 19, has sat out the last two matches because of a shoulder injury which he suffered in the game against Fleetwood.

Fletcher said: "Youngy seems to be OK. He has got a problem there but the pain has eased off. It could be one of those things which you have to play with and hope it doesn't get any worse."

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