Blackpool boss Neil Critchley has played down reports linking Gary Madine with a return to Bloomfield Road.

The 33-year-old striker, who played for the Whites between 2015 and 2018, is currently a free agent after he was released by the Seasiders in the summer.

However, Madine has been doing his rehabilitation at Blackpool after suffering an ACL injury earlier in the year.

Critchley, who returned to Bloomfield Road over the summer for a second spell in charge, says there have been no talks over re-signing the forward at this stage.

"Gary is still here at the club, he’s doing his rehabilitation with us so I see him on a regular basis,” he told Blackpool Gazette.

"I have a good relationship with him but I can assure you, at this moment in time, his focus is on getting himself fit and we want to help him to do that. There have been no discussions about deals or contracts.

"He’s been out since February and you’re always looking around 12 months for that type of injury, so he’s got quite a period of time to go yet before he’s back out on the grass.

"It’s not something we’ve discussed internally. It’s not been mentioned to me and I’ve not spoken to anyone else at the football club about it. Gary is here doing his rehab and we want to help to get him fit - that’s it.”

Blackpool currently sit eighth in the League One table and are three points off the play-off places as they aim to bounce back from last season’s relegation from the Championship.

Critchley’s side suffered a 1-0 defeat against Wanderers last month, with George Thomason getting the decisive goal at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

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