Sheffield United: John Brayford still on radar

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Kieron Freeman’s impending arrival at Bramall Lane does not signal the end of Sheffield United’s pursuit of John Brayford, manager Nigel Clough has insisted.

Clough, speaking after Tuesday night’s friendly defeat against Huddersfield Town, revealed that United are close to unveiling Freeman as their ninth signing of the summer - and that the 22-year-old full-back has been pencilled in to play against Fenerbahçe at Bramall Lane tonight.

But Clough still remains keen on Brayford, and is expected to again approach Cardiff City this week for an update on the popular right-back’s future.

“There’s no update on the situation,” Clough said, “but John remains a player we would very much like to bring in.

“But he remains a Cardiff player. They want to hang on to him, but we’ll keep pestering them.”

Freeman, a Welsh youth international, made 12 appearances on loan at United last season from Derby County, and impressed with his versatility at both right and left back.

“We are happy with our full backs, Craig Alcock and Bob Harris,” Clough added.

“But if one gets injured, we have no cover for them so Kieron is ideal. He can come in and compete with both of them.”

Stefan Scougall and Jose Baxter, both withdrawn against Huddersfield, will not be risked against the Turkish champions. Harry Maguire’s move to Premier League side Hull City was confirmed yesterday, when United completed the necessary paperwork to complete the £2.5m transfer.

“We are disappointed to lose a good player,” Clough said, “as Harry has given the club three or four years of good service at senior level.

“But we move on, and our aim now is to strengthen the squad in certain areas in the time we have available.”