Blackpool boss Neil Critchley has played down speculation about Gary Madine - who is training with the club.

The former Carlisle United striker is a free agent as he works his way back from an ACL injury.

He has been training with his former club, who released him in the summer.

But Critchley has cooled the idea that the Seasiders could re-sign the 33-year-old.

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

"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’s been no discussions about deals or contracts.”

Madine suffered his knee injury in March and is aiming to be back available early in the new year.

News and Star: Madine came through United's youth team to star in the first team before later returning on loan in 2014, picturedMadine came through United's youth team to star in the first team before later returning on loan in 2014, pictured (Image: Jonathan Becker)

Critchley, though, added that the big frontman still had "quite a period of time to go yet before he’s back out on the grass."

The Blackpool boss - whose side takes on Carlisle at Bloomfield Road this weekend - stressed that the idea of another deal for Madine had "not been discussed" internally at the club.

"Gary is here doing his rehab and we want to help to get him fit - that’s it,” he added.

Carlisle boss Paul Simpson recently dampened speculation that Madine could return to Brunton Park for a third spell.

Speaking in mid-November, Simpson said he had heard rumours surrounding the striker.

But the United manager said: "There’s lots of names around. I keep hearing Gary Madine’s name being mentioned but Gary isn’t going to be fit until the end of January.

“He’s done his cruciate ligament [an ACL injury in March]. He’s not fit.

"We need players who are fit and can come in and help us."

Carlisle are expected to make their strikeforce one of their priorities in the January transfer window.

Blackpool sit eighth in League One ahead of Saturday's visit of third-bottom United.