Evans set for League One club

Convicted rapist Ched Evans is set to return to football with an unnamed club in League One, PFA chief Gordon Taylor has revealed.

The club concerned are due to hold a press conference on Monday to reveal their stance, which could result in the end of Evans' 33-month spell in the footballing wilderness.

Evans was released from prison in October after serving half of a five-year sentence.

The striker was a Sheffield United player at the time of his conviction, with the Yorkshire club releasing him while he was imprisoned.

At the request of the Professional Footballers' Association, United offered Evans the chance to train with the team once again upon his release from prison, though this decision was met with widespread criticism and they produced a swift U-turn as influential patrons threatened to walk away from the club, including Olympic athlete Jessica Ennis.

Evans was targeted by Maltese side Hibernians - though the terms of his release effectively do not permit him to leave the UK.

And Evans - who maintains his innocence and has an appeal lodged with the Criminal Cases Review Commission – looks to have finally been offered a route back into the English game.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live's 'Sportsweek' about media reports that Evans had been offered a contract, Taylor explained: "Apparently that is the case, but bearing in mind what happened with his release and the furore that we had with Sheffield United, we feel that any club wishing to sign him needs to be 100 per cent committed to signing him for proper football reasons.

"We appreciate this is a very sensitive situation and that a lot of people feel he shouldn't return to football until after the Criminal Cases Review board has considered the case.

"But the fact is, unto the law of the land as we made clear in our statement, he has served his time and the job of society is to rehabilitate him."

Taylor issued a note of caution, however, that the club's decision could result in the kind of negative backlash that has seen others pull out of potential deals.

"I'm a little bit concerned that we need a press conference and that will invite many antagonists," he added.

"Of course there's going to be a volume of dissent against their wishes albeit there's going to be a number like us who believe in the rule of law that somebody who's served their time deserve to be rehabilitated.

"If a club is looking to sign him, then they need to be 100 per cent committed to that and give their reasons and get on with it rather than invite a public debate beforehand.

"We've had a number of steps forward and a number of steps back. So I wouldn't want to count any chickens."