Sheffield United: Clough maintains a watching brief on under-21 international

Kieron Freeman remains a potential target for Sheffield United � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Kieron Freeman remains a potential target for Sheffield United � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
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Nigel Clough has refused to rule-out the possibility of Kieron Freeman returning to Bramall Lane next season despite confirming Derby County have rejected his offer to sign the Wales under-21 international on loan, writes James Shield.

The Star understands that Clough’s former employers would prefer to sell Freeman rather than allowing him to rejoin United on a temporary basis following last term’s successful spell at Bramall Lane.

Although Clough refused to comment on the specifics of his negotiations with County, he confirmed Freeman remains a potential target ahead of the new forthcoming campaign.

“We’ve asked about Kieron and they’ve knocked us back,” Clough said. “But, you never know, there’s always a chance that we’ll be able to get him here again.

“We’ll wait and see.”

County, who parted company with Clough less than four weeks before he took charge of United in October, are believed to have circulated Freeman’s name throughout the Football League after acknowledging he is unlikely to command a regular place in Steve McClaren’s starting eleven.

Aged 22, the full-back subsequently made 11 appearances after making his United debut against Carlisle in March.

However, with Clough also maintaining a watching brief on John Brayford’s situation at Cardiff City, United would prefer to broker another loan agreement for Freeman before taking a concrete decision on his future in South Yorkshire.

*Twitter: @JamesShield1