Hartlepool manager Ronnie Moore has announced he would like to sign convicted rapist Ched Evans.
Former Sheffield United and Wales striker Evans had an offer to train with his former club retracted last month following strong local opposition to the proposal.
But Moore, who took over as boss of the bottom club in the Football League this week, has confirmed he could look to bring in 25-year-old Evans.
He said after today’s 1-1 home draw with Oxford: “It’s a possibility.
“If it could happen, I would want it to happen. He is a proven scorer; he’s served his time and the boy wants to play football.
“If there is a chance he might come here, I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t.
“He has made a mistake and maybe he hasn’t apologised in the right way – and I know he has an appeal case pending – but if he gets on the park, he would go a long way to getting us out of trouble.”
Hartlepool's Labour MP Iain Wright was outraged at the prospect of Evans signing for the club.
He said: “I really hope we don’t. I love my club, I love Hartlepool United. There’s a reason why no other team in the Football League wants to sign him – he is a pariah.”
Mr Wright added: “I was at the match today. There were lots of young lads there supporting Hartlepool United. I just think it sends out such a wrong message to young men in terms of it being OK for a rapist to play football.
“It’s entirely wrong.”
Hartlepool fans on the Poolie Bunker forum were split about the potential signing.
While some supporters of the Football League’s basement club took the view that a proven international goal scorer could fire them to safety, others feared a backlash.
PoolieinNottingham wrote: “I really hope this is just a rumour.
“Thanks to Jeff Stelling (the Sky Sports presenter and Hartlepool fan) loads of people have a soft spot for Pools, whereas if this is true we’ll get no end of bad will.
“If we’ve got money to spend on wages now there will be other players who can do the job instead of him.”
But in the next message Monkeybutt replied: “I would take him in a heartbeat, what’s done is done, served his sentence, move on people!”