Sheffield United will refuse to discuss Ched Evans’ potential return to Bramall Lane before Sunday’s meeting with the centre-forward’s club Chesterfield.
Sections of the League One champions’ hierarchy are thought to be furious their interest in Evans was made public ahead of this weekend’s game, although it is unlikely to permanently sour relations between Bramall Lane and the Proact Stadium.
But Chris Wilder, the United manager, has resolved not to publicly comment on the situation until after the game against Gary Caldwell’s side. The decision was born partly out of a desire not to distract from the achievements of his squad this term and also frustration at developments earlier this week.
Evans, aged 28, scored 48 goals in 113 appearances for United after completing a £3m transfer from Manchester City in 2009. The Wales international left three years later after being convinced of rape before, when the Court of Appeal quashed that conviction, being found not guilty at a retrial.
Chesterfield signed Evans in June and, despite agreeing a 12 month contract extension earlier this term, director Ashley Carson told their AGM that he would be sold if bid was received.
United, who paid their neighbours a £50,000 loan fee to recruit Jay O’Shea in January, have already held a series of meetings to discuss potential targets ahead of the forthcoming Championship season.
They enter the final match of the campaign 14 points clear of second-placed Bolton Wanderers and only three shy of the 100 point landmark.