Former Sheffield United player and convicted rapist Ched Evans gets fresh chance to play...in Malta

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Former Sheffield United and Wales striker Ched Evans has been offered a route back into football - by Maltese side Hibernians.

The 26-year-old convicted rapist had an offer to train with his former club retracted in November following strong local opposition, while Tranmere, Oldham and Hartlepool also rejected the opportunity to sign him.

However, Malta’s Hibernians, 15 points clear at the top of the country’s domestic league having dropped just two points in 16 games, have revealed they have made an offer to Evans for the remainder of the season.

Club vice-president Stephen Vaughan said: “We are looking to secure the services of a top striker and Ched fits the bill.

“We’ve spoken to his agent and have offered a deal from now until the end of the season.”

Evans wants to return to football after being released from prison in October. He served two-and-a-half years of a five-year sentence after being found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in 2011.

He was initially given permission by League One United to return to train with the club at the request of players’ union, the Professional Footballers Association.

But following a backlash from Blades supporters, sponsors and patrons opposed to Evans’ return - 160,000 people signed a petition against it - the club retracted the offer.

Tranmere chairman Mark Palios claimed the League Two club turned down an approach from associates of Evans’ about the possibility of him playing for the club, before League One Oldham last month denied reports they had offered Evans the opportunity to train with the club