Joey Barton has revealed he would love to sign Sheffield United loanee Ched Evans in the summer.
Evans has been on loan at Fleetwood this season and has scored sixteen goals in thirty-seven games in an impressive season for the League One side.
Striker Evans remained at Highbury Stadium despite interest from League One promotion hopefuls Sunderland and Championship relegation battlers Bolton Wanderers during the January transfer window.
The Welsh international has a season left on his Sheffield United contract and looks unlikely to play for the Blades again, with Chris Wilder’s side chasing promotion to the Premier League.
Asked if he would like to sign the hitman permanently Barton told the Blackpool Gazette: ‘It will be on the finances. I don’t have a magic wand.’
“One side in our division (Sunderland) has spent more on agents’ fees than our entire budget. If they decide they want him there is nothing we can do about it. They were sniffing around him in January.’
Evans was thought to be a transfer target for Sunderland in January as they looked to find a replacement for Josh Maja, before finally clinching a £4million deal for Will Grigg.’
Barton added: ‘He’s a great player, becoming a real leader in the dressing room.’
Fleetwood face a tough trip to promotion-chasing Barnsley at the weekend and will be hoping their good form in Yorkshire continues, having already recorded away victories over Doncaster Rovers and Bradford City this season.
Joey Barton has made a solid if unspectacular start to his managerial career at Fleetwood and will be looking to build on his first season and mount a playoff challenge next campaign.
He has surprisingly stayed out of the headlines and got his head down for the task in hand.
Evans would probably not win many popularity contests amongst some supporters, but with recent high profile legal issues now behind him, he is looking to rebuild his career.
Evans success this season does seem to show that he and Barton work well together and the striker could do worse than stay in the North-West and begin to enjoy his football again at a club that is far from high profile and will help keep him out the limelight.