Chris Wilder has said striker Ched Evans has a future at Sheffield United even though he is expected to be sent on loan this season
Joey Barton's Fleetwood Town are expected to take the 29-year-old on loan this term after a tricky campaign in 2017/18 for the Welshman.
Evans made 13 appearances for United in the last campaign, but faced time on the sidelines due to injury.
With new offensive signings expected at Bramall Lane before the transfer window closes, Evans would fall down the pecking order in the competition for places in the squad.
Speaking to Alan Biggs on Sheffield Talking Sheffield, Wilder said: "First and foremost he's in our plans. It's been unfortunate for him last season, he obviously didn't get a run of games and he had a difficult start with his injury at the start.
"He worked extremely hard to get back involved in the first team but I think when you've been out that long you need to go and play 15 or 20 games of football.
"With the players we've got at the moment up top and the ones we are looking to bring in, we talked about it and we thought that unless he goes and gets those games and goes bangs a few goals in and is battle hardened and he's playing Saturday Tuesday, Saturday Tuesday, his body will adjust to that full time playing. You can do all the work on the training ground but getting up to speed on the pitch is completely different."
Although a loan deal to League One Fleetwood is yet to be officially confirmed, Wilder suggested that it was on the verge of being completed and could last either until the January transfer window or for the full season.
He said: "It's up to Christmas and then we'll view it. If he's doing great and we feel the need to bring him back then we've got that option and that ability and then if we're ok and we're going well and Ched's going well then who knows, we've got real flexibility with it."