Liam Feeney set for Blackburn, but Ipswich Town eye up Sheffield United's Kieron Freeman
PUBLISHED: 08:36 14 June 2016 | UPDATED: 10:33 15 June 2016
Ipswich Town are set to miss out on signing winger Liam Feeney, but could finally sign a bona fide right-back in the form of Sheffield United’s Kieron Freeman.
Free agent Feeney, who spent the back end of last season on loan at Portman Road from Bolton, was keen on returning to Suffolk but now Blackburn, another of his former loan clubs, are understood to lead the chase as new boss Owen Coyle aims to rebuild at Ewood Park.
At present, the Blues don’t have a single out-and-out winger in their squad. Striker Freddie Sears played wide for most of last season, while Ryan Fraser, Ainsley Maitland-Niles (loans expired), Luke Varney, Larsen Toure and Jay Tabb (released) have departed and Cameron Stewart is transfer-listed.
Blues boss Mick McCarthy, who returns from his holiday at the end of this week, has played captain Luke Chambers at right-back for the majority of his three-and-a-half seasons in charge, but recently admitted that is a position he may look at finally addressing this summer.
Chambers has undoubtedly improved as a full-back, but makes no secret of the fact that he would prefer to play at centre-half and could well be left battling for a starting spot alongside Tommy Smith, Christophe Berra and recent recruit Adam Webster next season.
Former Nottingham Forest and Derby right-back Freeman, 24, was brought to League One side Sheffield United by Nigel Clough last summer, but then Nigel Adkins took over at Bramall Lane and he was loaned to League Two side Portsmouth for the second half of the campaign. Freeman impressed at Fratton Park as Pompey eventually lost in the play-off semi-finals, with Town having scouted all of the south coast club’s games in order to keep an eye on their own loanee Matt Clarke.
Clarke has since joined Portsmouth on a permanent basis, with ball-playing centre-back Webster moving in the opposite direction. And it’s understood that McCarthy, keen to get his team playing less direct next season, is also interested in signing the attack-minded Freeman.
Transfer-listed by Adkins, the full-back still has a year left on his deal and Portsmouth were hoping to sign him. It’s understood that the player would be looking for a pay-off from the Blades if the wages he is offered elsewhere are less then what he is currently on.
Freeman is a former Welsh Under-21 team-mate of ex-Town player Elliott Hewitt and recently interacted with Blues midfielder Teddy Bishop on Twitter.