FINANCIAL restrictions prevented former Swindon Town favourite Sid Nelson from signing a permanent deal to remain at the County Ground following the expiration of his loan deal on New Year’s Day.

Nelson, 23, played his last game in a Town shirt on New Year’s Day during the club’s two-goal loss against promotion-chasing Exeter City.

It was then confirmed on Tuesday that Town’s League Two rivals Tranmere Rovers had snapped up the no-nonsense defender on loan until the end of the season.

Wellens revealed that a loan offer was on the table for Swindon to accept.

However - conscious of the fact Luke Woolfenden can be recalled by parent club Ipswich Town at any moment - the Town boss turned down the opportunity to add another centre back to his loan list.

The news devastated a number of supporters who were keen to see Nelson stay at the County Ground following a string of impressive displays in the run-up to his loan expiration at SN1.

Wellens did confirm though that he will revisit Nelson in the summer – adding that Millwall’s survival from Championship relegation could play a key part in the Lions’ decision to sell the 23-year-old.

“They (Millwall) wanted to hold out – I think the manager (Neil Harris) wants to hold out until he knows what division they are playing in next season, which is fair enough,” said Wellens.

“We’ll re-visit him in the summer, I’ve made no secret of the fact I like him as a lad – his improvement in the six or seven games that he played for me was very good.

“I’m disappointed we won’t see that improvement continue, but financially we couldn’t sort a deal.

“Also, we couldn’t allow another centre back on loan.

“I’ll keep an eye on his progress and see from there.

“They wouldn’t let him go on a permanent deal, event though we agreed something with them.

“Millwall wanted to loan him out, we couldn’t do that because of numbers.”