Rapist Gets An Offer!

The 26-year-old convicted rapist had an offer to train with his former club retracted in November following strong local opposition, while Tranmere, Oldham and Hartlepool also rejected the opportunity to sign him.

However, Malta's Hibernians, 15 points clear at the top of the country's domestic league having dropped just two points in 16 games, have revealed they have made an offer to Evans for the remainder of the season.

Club vice-president Stephen Vaughan said: "We are looking to secure the services of a top striker and Ched fits the bill.

"We've spoken to his agent and have offered a deal from now until the end of the season."

Evans wants to return to football after being released from prison in October. He served two-and-a-half years of a five-year sentence after being found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in 2011.

He was initially given permission by League One Sheffield United to return to train with the club at the request of players' union, the Professional Footballers Association.

But following a backlash from Blades supporters, sponsors and patrons opposed to Evans' return - 160,000 people signed a petition against it - the club retracted the offer.

Tranmere chairman Mark Palios claimed the League Two club turned down an approach from associates of Evans' about the possibility of him playing for the club, before League One Oldham last month denied reports they had offered Evans the opportunity to train with the club.

Hibernians technical director Jeffrey Farrugia told Sky Sports News he believed a deal is close.

"I think we are quite close," he said. "We are waiting for his agent to call."

He added on Sky News HD: "Our vice-president has offered the contract until the end of the season to this glorious player to come over to Malta and play for our top team. We are leading the table at the moment."

Asked if he had spoken to Evans, Farrugia said: "Me personally, no, but Mr Stephen (Vaughan) yes, he met him in the UK. They sat down with his agent so they can speak about a contract."

While reports that Evans might sign with a club in England set off a storm of controversy, Farrugia believed there would be no such reaction in Malta.

"We have no problem with that," he said. "He was punished and he did his sentence so he should have a second chance, and our club is ready, the door is open for him to start his new career again in professional football.

"I don't think it's a wrong message. Everybody in life has mistakes, so you should have your second chance."

He added of the possibility of protests against Evans at Hibernians' stadium: "There won't be anything of this at our club. And I can't understand sometimes how English football, English clubs, think about all these things. Everybody must have a second chance.

"He paid for what he did, for us it's not an issue."

Farrugia also believes that by moving to Malta, Evans can put himself in the shop window for other clubs.

He said: "For a player like him it's good to come to Malta to play these 26 games. He will be in the window for end of season, many clubs I'm sure they will go for him, so it's good for him to come here and enjoy the game of football.

"(He's) a big asset for our club, (to have) the big quality of this player join our club. We need players like him in Malta."

News of Hibernians' interest in a deal attracted criticism on Twitter, and much of it was misdirected.

Scottish Championship side Hibernian Tweeted on Friday evening: "Just to clarify we are #Hibs of Scotland and not #Hibernians of Malta. Should that ever change we'll let you all know. See you the morn, HFC."