Convicted rapist Ched Evans is set to train with former club Sheffield United later this week after a request from the Professional Footballers’ Association.
Evans was freed from prison last month after serving half of a five-year sentence, and has divided opinion on whether he should be allowed to return to the club for whom he scored 35 goals in 42 appearances during the 2011-12 season.
More than 150,000 people have signed a petition urging the Blades not to re-sign the 25-year-old, but a statement released on the team's official website on Thursday confirmed that he will be allowed to train with the side after a request from the PFA.
“According to the request, this training would be with a view to enabling Mr Evans to get back to a level of fitness, which might enable him to find employment in his chosen trade,” read the statement.
“This request has come to the club, because it is the last club at which Mr Evans was registered before his conviction.
“After due consideration, the board has decided to respond favourably to The PFA’s request and to allow Mr Evans to train at the club’s facilities.
"While some have speculated about whether the Club will or should invite Mr Evans to return to SUFC as a registered footballer, the Club is not prepared at this time to decide that issue."
Evans himself has continued to maintain his innocence and released a video statement on his personal website last month stating his intention to return to professional football.
However, Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough has previously reiterated that any decision to re-sign the striker will rest with owners Prince Abdullah Bin Musa’ad Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, and Kevin McCabe.