Sheff Utd boss Wilder hoping to seal Freeman signing by ‘close of play today’

Sheffield United expect to complete the signing of midfielder Luke Freeman from QPR on Tuesday, manager Chris Wilder has confirmed.

The Blades have agreed a reported £3million fee for Freeman, 27, who is set to become the club’s first summer signing since winning promotion back to the Premier League.

“It’s not completed yet, but hopefully by the close of play today, Luke Freeman will become a Sheffield United player,” Wilder told PA.

“The two clubs are in discussions to finalise that deal and we’ll be delighted if that happens.”

Wilder said he was also hopeful that goalkeeper Dean Henderson would return on loan to the club from Manchester United.

“Yes, that’s on-going. Same again, discussions between both clubs, Manchester United and ourselves,” Wilder said.

Freeman, who signed a new long-term deal with QPR in November last year, scored seven goals in 43 Championship appearances last season and was voted player of the year by R’s fans.

The Blades also confirmed later on Twitter that former Manchester United and West Ham midfielder Ravel Morrison was currently training with Wilder’s squad with a view to a possible move to the Premier League new boys.

Morrison, 26, is without a club after recently completing a six-month spell at Swedish side Ostersunds.

“We know we’ve got to bring players in,” Wilder said. “We’ve got to improve the squad, but we’re going to keep the core of it that’s done fantastically well for us over the last three years.

“It’s important we keep that spirit and add to the players, who have produced some tremendous achievements over the last three years.”

Wilder has guided the Blades back to the top flight for the first time in 12 years after winning two promotions in three seasons at Bramall Lane.

“It’s happened at an incredible pace since we came into the club,” he said. “Three years ago we were 12th in League One and now we found ourselves in the Premier League.

“There’s a lot of good things that have happened here over the last three years, but a lot of good things have got to continue so we can improve and keep raising the bar.

“We’ve all got to up our game because the divide between the Championship and the Premier League is a huge one. It’s the biggest one.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re ready for it and go and attack it in the same way we have with our last challenges.”

The Blades have been installed as favourites for relegation by the bookmakers, but the former Halifax, Oxford and Northampton boss is hoping to “ruffle a few feathers”.

“I like that term,” he added. “Yes, we’ll try. We have to manage our expectations. The Premier League has moved on at an enormous rate since we were last in it, so we’re playing catch-up a little bit.

“But we’ll give it a right go and try and be competitive, ruffle a few feathers and try and pick up some points against the big boys.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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