Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton says a Highbury return for Sheffield United striker Ched Evans is not in his hands

Ched Evans
Ched Evans

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton says a return to Highbury for Ched Evans is not in his hands – but they would welcome the forward back.

Evans has a year remaining at Sheffield United but has been transfer listed by boss Chris Wilder.

Barton would like to add forward Evans after bringing back former loanees Lewie Coyle and Harry Souttar from Leeds United and Stoke City respectively.

He said: “All the lads who played for us last year were a privilege to coach.

“They applied themselves on a weekly basis for us.

“If an opportunity comes up through their parent clubs to bring them back then we want that continuity.

“We get that with Soutts and Lewie Coyle because they have had a year working with us; six months in Soutts’ case.

“For us we know them as lads, what they bring to the party and we have been delighted to bring that.

“We are a little bit light in that striker zone with Ched and Ashley Nadesan leaving in the summer.

“It is an area we are looking to strengthen but it will depend what the other clubs really want to do.

“Financially it is difficult for us to dictate to anybody what to do with their players.”

Evans’ strike partner last season, Paddy Madden, would also like to see him return to Highbury after their success as duo.

The duo produced a 37-goal partnership for Town last season with Madden edging out Evans in the top scorer stakes, netting 19 times to the latter’s 18.

However, while Madden would be keen to reunite with the Welshman, he is also excited by his burgeoning relationship with Conor McAleny.

He said: “I have not spoken to Ched myself.

“He got 18, I got 19; we nearly had a 40-goal partnership there.

“I’m not going to lie, it would be nice if he did come back but I think we did complement each other well.

“But Conor is back, raring to go and looking sharp so good options up there if Ched does come back.

“If he wants to come back we would all be delighted.”