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Blades confirm double signing

23 January 2015

Nigel Clough has made his first move in the January transfer, signing not one but two players.

Midfielder Paul Coutts and versatile defender Kieron Freeman, who enjoyed a successful loan spell with United last season, have signed from Derby County with both deals being completed late on Friday afternoon, on two-and-a-half year deals.

Coutts has joined for an undisclosed fee while Freeman has joined the Blades as a free agent after the remaining months of his contract were cancelled by mutual agreement.

"I'm delighted to work with Nigel (Clough) again," said Coutts. "It was a tough decision to leave Derby but not a tough decision where to go - Nigel showed an interest and I can't wait to get started."

Freeman added: "I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Club last year on the tremendous FA Cup journey and I'm delighted to be back on a permanent basis - the aim is to force myself into the Gaffer's plans and boost the promotion charge."

Coutts spent much of his youth with Aberdeen before spending three years in the Scottish Highland Football League. In July 2008, the 26-year-old got his move to England, joining Peterborough United for a nominal fee.

In February 2010, Coutts was reunited with his former boss Ferguson at Preston after much speculation about him moving to Deepdale and racked up close to 100 appearances for the Lilywhites.

It was Nigel Clough, then Derby boss, in July 2012 who fought off a host of Championship clubs to take him to Pride Park. Coutts suffered a dislocated knee injury in the earlier part of the 2013/14 before recovering fully and has featured nine times for the Rams this season under Steve McClaren.

Meanwhile, Freeman arrives on the back of loan spell with Mansfield Town in League Two, where made 11 starts.

The defender, equally at home at right or left back is no stranger to Unitedites having made 12 appearances in League One for The Blades last term.

The Welshman began his career with Nottingham Forest but has had plenty of experience through loan spells during his time at Pride Park.

Neither are available for Saturday's FA Cup to Preston North End.

* Keep an eye out on, BladesPlayer and SheffieldUTube for Nigel Clough's thoughts on the duo, plus more from Coutts and Freeman.

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