The 33-year-old Bulgaria international is in discussion with the Spanish club about a move to Catalonia after becoming surplus to requirements at the Reebok Stadium
The Bulgarian winger is reportedly one of the club's highest earners, and has had only a bit-part role to play this season, participating in 14 of a possible 26 matches with eight of those appearances coming off the bench.
Freedman told BBC Radio Manchester: "Martin Petrov is in talks with Espanyol.
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"He's done nothing wrong. He's been a good lad and a good servant to the club. I just feel we're going in a different direction."
He added: "I feel the best thing for the club is to bring in some new, young blood.
"That's where we are and I hope everybody understands this decision."
Petrov joined the Trotters from Manchester City on a free transfer in the summer of 2010, going on to make 85 appearances and scoring 12 goals in the process.