Luke Freeman to be given chance to impress Sheffield United boss Slavisa Jokanovic amidst transfer links to Stoke City, Bournemouth

Luke Freeman will be given the opportunity to impress new Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanović before a decision is taken on his future, The Star understands, after the former QPR man was linked with United’s Championship rivals Bournemouth and Stoke City.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 10:43 am

Freeman spent last season on loan at Nottingham Forest after failing to dislodge John Fleck in United’s midfield, but was plagued by injury issues and did not do enough to convince Forest to take up the option to make the deal permanent.

Now 29, Freeman has returned to United for pre-season training and may find first-team opportunities easier to come by in the Championship, especially if Jokanović tweaks the flat-three in midfield that was adopted by his predecessor Chris Wilder in the Premier League.

Throughout his time at QPR, Freeman established a reputation as one of the biggest attacking threats in the second tier and persuaded United to make him their record signing when he moved for around £4m in the summer of 2019.

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But he found it difficult to nail down a place in Wilder’s plans, and joined Forest on a temporary basis in a bid to play regular first-team football. Those plans were scuppered by a botched hernia operation which disrupted his season, and any decision United take on Freeman may be influenced by the fact he has only 12 months left on the deal he signed when he arrived at United.

United often insert a clause into contracts allowing them to extend it by a further 12 months if necessary, although it has not been publicly confirmed whether such a clause exists in Freeman’s deal.

David McGoldrick and Luke Freeman back in pre-season training: Simon Bellis/Sheffield United
David McGoldrick and Luke Freeman back in pre-season training: Simon Bellis/Sheffield United