Middlesbrough and Blackburn were keen on signing Queens Park Rangers midfielder Luke Freeman in the summer window but nothing came to fruition.

QPR’s Freeman impressed last season, scoring five goals and laying on a further 12 goals for his teammates, to put him second in the assist charts for the 2017/18 campaign. His form meant the midfielder attracted interest from both Middlesbrough and Blackburn, and the 26-year old has now admitted his head was turned.

In an interview that appears on West London Sport, Freeman spoke openly on how his career at Loftus Road was called into question after the speculation linking him to Middlesbrough.

“It was difficult. I’d be lying if I said my head wasn’t turned, because to some extent it was” he said.

The main reason his head was turned was the chance of playing in the Premier League. Freeman started at Arsenal academy but didn’t play for the first-team before leaving to join Stevenage in 2012, and the midfielder may have thought his best route to the top flight was by joining Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough.

“When you’re a player and there’s the possibility of joining a club that might well be in the Premier League next season, of course that’s something you think about.”

“Every player wants to play in the Premier League and I’m not going to lie and say it wasn’t on my mind when that (interest in him) was happening,”

But there was a message of reassurance for the Rangers fans: “There’s never been a time when I’ve not been happy to be playing for QPR. I’m very happy to be there and have never felt differently”, he said.

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Lifelong Boro fan - from the highs of watching Juninho and the Carling Cup victory, to the lows of Gordon Strachan and Lee Dong Gook

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