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Convicted Rapist Ched Evans Reportedly To Train With Sheffield United

The Welsh international footballer, who spent two-and-a-half years in prison for rape, is to train with his former club this week, according to the BBC.

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Footballer Ched Evans, 25, will train with Sheffield United this week, less than a month after leaving prison, according to the BBC, amid ongoing speculation that the club will offer him a permanent contract.

Getty Images / Ben Hoskins

Evans played for United before he was handed a five-year sentence in 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman in a north Wales hotel in 2011, of which he served half. Any new involvement of his with the club would be controversial – almost 160,000 people have signed a petition calling on the team not to employ him again.

However, the BBC's sports editor, Dan Roan, reported on Tuesday morning, citing club sources, that United feels Evans has a right to rehabilitation after serving his jail time. Officially the club has yet to make a decision on whether to sign him.

It is common for clubs to invite out-of-contract players to train with them to regain fitness. Managers often do this to assess a player's talent before signing them.

United paid £3 million to sign Evans in 2009. He went on to score 48 goals in 113 appearances for the club.

BuzzFeed News has contacted the club for comment and we will update when we receive one.

Evans was released from prison on 17 October, and said he wanted a "second chance" in an online video posted a few days later.

The video, in which he failed to apologise to his victim, was part of a campaign run by his family to repair his public reputation by arguing that he was wrongly convicted – although the player's aunt has said he deserved his conviction.

The father of Evans' victim has said that she has had to leave her hometown and change her identity twice.

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