Sheffield United: Blades step-up interest in Kieron

Kieron Freeman impressed on loan at Bramall Lane next season � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Kieron Freeman impressed on loan at Bramall Lane next season � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
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Sheffield United are expected to step-up their attempt to resign Kieron Freeman as manager Nigel Clough continues his makeover of the League One club’s squad, writes James Shield.

After impressing on loan at Bramall Lane last season, the Wales under-21 international is Clough’s preferred choice to fill the vacant right-back back role although Cardiff City’s John Brayford also remains a potential long-term target.

Freeman, who faces an uncertain future at Derby County after being allowed to leave the iPro Stadium by Clough successor Steve McClaren, is thought to have confirmed his interest in discussing a move should he again find himself on the periphery of the former England chief’s plans.

It remains unclear whether United want to recruit Freeman on a permanent basis or broker another temporary agreement with the player and his present employers.

Freeman, who arrived at County before Clough’s departure in September, made 12 appearances after being reunited with the 48-year-old in South Yorkshire.

Meanwhile, Hull City have informed United of their interest in Harry Maguire.

Steve Bruce, Clough’s counterpart at the KC Stadium, has sanctioned a £1.5m bid according to a source in the Midlands where Wolverhampton Wanderers are also monitoring the player’s situation.

Despite offering to improve Maguire’s contract, which expires at the end of next season, United have been informed by the centre-half and his representative that they do not want to consider their proposal until, Clough revealed earlier this month, the “situation is resolved.” Clough recently repeated his claim that Maguire’s development would be best served by staying at United for at least another season.

It remains unclear whether City’s approach constitutes an official bid or was simply designed to indicate their valuation of the 21-year-old. Although Wolves are maintaining a watching brief, manager Kenny Jackett is understood to be exploring other lines of enquiry in the transfer market.

City are also pursuing Joleon Lescott together with Chelsea’s £7m rated Ryan Bertrand and Danny Rose of Tottenham Hotspur who could be available on loan.

*Twitter: @JamesShield1