EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Portsmouth are keen to offer a two-year deal to Sheffield United striker Ched Evans despite a backlash among a section of fans to the potential transfer, Football Insider can reveal.

Football Insider revealed yesterday that Pompey’s manager Kenny Jackett has targeted the 30-year-old forward as the newly-promoted Blades prepare to listen to offers to sell him permanently this summer.

This led to some negative comments among supporters on social media given the history of Evans, who was acquitted of rape at a retrial that overturned his original conviction.

But a Portsmouth source has told Football Insider the club still want Evans and are willing to hand him a two-year contract to prise him from Bramall Lane, where he is out of contract in 12 months.

Manager Jackett is a big admirer of Evans’ predatory qualities in front of goal and believes he can add real cutting edge to the League One club as they target automatic promotion next season.

The Wales international, capped 13 times by the country, scored 18 goals from 41 matches while on loan at fellow third-tier outfit Fleetwood Town last season.

Evans is eager to leave Sheffield United and end his second spell at the club, as he knows is well down the forward pecking order following their promotion to the Premier League.

Boss Chris Wilder is willing to let Evans go, although Portsmouth face competition for his services from rival outfit Oxford United.

There have been denials in some quarters about Pompey’s interest in Evans, but Football Insider, who broke the news earlier this week that Brighton had agreed a fee for defender Matt Clarke, has been told a deal is certainly on the cards.

In other Portsmouth news, it can be REVEALED that the club have made a formal move to land a Stoke City player.