Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton has revealed his desire to sign Sheffield United striker Ched Evans on a permanent deal this summer.

The 30-year-old has spent this season on loan at Highbury and the Cod Army want to sign him now, according to the Fleetwood Weekly News.

Evans, who still has a year left on his contract at Bramall Lane, has scored 16 games for the League One side in all competitions.

When asked about whether he wants to make his move permanent this summer, Barton said: “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.”

Barton added: “He’s a great player, becoming a real leader in the dressing room. I’d love to have him but I say the same about (Lewie) Coyley, (Harry Souttar) Soutts, Jason Holt – great characters, who really added to our group.”

We are hoping they like it enough here that if they are not playing for their parent clubs in higher divisions they will be part of what we are trying to build at this football club.”

Evans’ future at Sheffield United could depend on what division they are in next season. It is unlikely he would break into their team if they are in the Premier League.

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