Sheffield United appear set to re-sign striker Ched Evans from Chesterfield following the Blades' confirmed promotion to the Championship and the latter's relegation to League Two.
According to BBC Radio Sheffield, a fee of £500k has been agreed between the two clubs.
Breaking: I understand Sheffield United are trying to re-sign Chesterfield striker Ched Evans. Deal could be done soon. #SUFC— Rob Staton (@robstaton) April 24, 2017
Having been released from prison in 2014 after serving half of a five-year sentence handed down for a 2012 rape conviction, Evans was found not guilty last year when his case was controversially re-tried.
He had been unable to find a new club for nearly two years while trying to re-establish himself as a professional footballer, with the likes of Oldham, Hartlepool, Grimsby and others all eventually pulling out of a potential deal.
Sheffield United, the club for whom Evans was playing for at the time of his original arrest and conviction, had made contact with the former Wales international while he was still behind bars in April 2014.
A number of club patrons, including Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster, herself a former victim of sexual assault, resigned as club patrons as a result.
Olympian and local Sheffield hero Jessica Ennis-Hill also threatened she would request that her name be removed from one of the stands at Bramall Lane if Evans signed. Trolls have already begun attacking Ennis-Hill on social media since the news broke.
This season has been Evans' first back in professional football since his time in prison, scoring five times in 25 League One appearances for Derbyshire-based Chesterfield.
The nature of the overturned conviction and the seeming lack of remorse for his actions or behaviour have understandably made this a sensitive topic once more.
and now we get to do the whole Ched Evans shit again. Already seeing 'he's an innocent man' which is not true. Oh God I hate all of this— Olly (@sewadyllo) April 24, 2017
Men who not only valorise Ched Evans, they revel in putting down a woman while they're at it. Have a word with yourselves. pic.twitter.com/OHPng7VZuy— Bożenka (@bo_novak) April 24, 2017
Loads of Sheffield United fans now hurling abuse at Jess Ennis over signing Ched Evans. Sums that football club up perfectly!— Jordan Ward (@JordanWard_) April 24, 2017
Others have questioned the footballing motives after a poor season from the striker.
Purely from a footballing viewpoint, 500k for Ched Evans is awful business, and totally unnecessary for #SUFC. Then there is the rest...— George Elek (@georgeelek) April 24, 2017
So Ched Evans has 5 goals in 25 League One games and none since December… but Sheffield United are bringing him back for the Championship?— Tim Scales (@tim_ncfc) April 24, 2017
Sheffield Utd signing Ched Evans again is a ludicrous decision. Have to wonder what they were thinking? The state of it.— Lee Abrahams (@a_jackanape) April 24, 2017
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