Representatives of Sheffield United have been in contact with their former centre-forward Ched Evans since his conviction for rape, the League One club acknowledged last night.
The development will fuel speculation that Evans, who continues to protest his innocence, could return to Bramall Lane if he is released later this year although a statement, issued to The Star, neither confirmed or denied whether that is the case.
“Sheffield United Football Club is aware of a number of news reports which have appeared recently in the media concerning former player Ched Evans,” it read. “The club can confirm that, as part of its ongoing policy of providing a duty of care to former employees and their families, it was in contact with Mr Evans subsequent to his conviction.
“The club has no further comment to make on these media reports.”
Evans, aged 25, received a five year sentence after being found guilty at Caernarfon Crown Court of raping a woman at a hotel near Rhyl in May 2011.
Co-defendant Clayton McDonald, who now plays for Grimsby Town, was found not guilty of the same offence.
Evans was refused leave to appeal against his conviction in August 2012, a decision which was upheld by the Court of Appeal in London three months later.
Evans’ supporters have since hired a new legal team in a bid to clear his name.
United, who beat Stevenage 1-0 at Bramall Lane last night after a John Mousinho own goal, paid £3m to sign Evans from Manchester City in 2009.
Despite making a slow start to his career in South Yorkshire, he scored 35 goals in 42 appearances during the 2011/12 League One campaign. Evans was released from his United contract following their 2012 League One play-off final defeat by Huddersfield Town.