Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton has admitted he would like to sign on-loan striker Ched Evans on a permanent deal, but is worried League One rivals Sunderland could renew their interest in the player.
The 30-year-old is currently on a season-long loan at Highbury from Championship promotion hopefuls Sheffield United, and has scored 16 goals in 37 appearances for the Cod Army in all competitions this season.
Sunderland were linked with a move for the centre-forward during the January transfer window, as they looked to find a replacement for Josh Maja, but Jack Ross’ side eventually signed Will Grigg from Wigan Athletic.
Barton has admitted that he would like to sign Evans on a permanent deal, but says the club would not have the financial power to compete with Sunderland, should the Black Cats renew their interest in the striker.
“It will be on the finances. I don’t have a magic wand,” said Barton when asked if he would like to sign the striker on a permanent deal, as quoted by the Blackpool Gazette.
“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 still has one year left on his Sheffield United contract, but with Chris Wilder’s side challenging for promotion to the Premier League, it’s unlikely that he will play for the club again.
Now that Sunderland have signed Will Grigg, it seems unlikely that the Black Cats will renew their interest in the striker, regardless of what division they are in next season.
Evans has done well for Fleetwood this season and could be a good signing for the Cod Army.