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Paolo Di Canio reveals he turned down Manchester United move

Di Canio reveals he turned down Man Utd move
© Reuters
West Ham United legend Paolo Di Canio reveals that he turned down the opportunity to sign for Manchester United in 2001.

Paolo Di Canio has revealed that he rejected the opportunity to sign for Manchester United during the latter stages of his career.

While Di Canio represented nine different clubs during his playing days, the Italian made the biggest impact at West Ham United, contributing 52 goals from 141 appearances between 1999 and 2003.

However, the controversial forward has acknowledged that he was provided with the chance to sign for United at the end of 2001, only to turn down Sir Alex Ferguson out of loyalty for the Hammers.

Speaking to Sky Sports' Transfer Talk Podcast, Di Canio said: "I thought it was a joke, I thought it was my friend from Italy.

"My stomach went a bit because it makes you think you have underestimated yourself, that you are bigger than what you thought. Man United call you, try to persuade you to move because they want you. For a couple of minutes you feel big and strong.

"It was strange for me to say no to Sir Alex. I said "thanks, 1000 times thanks, but I can't. West Ham are the family that warmed to me in the worst moment in my life, I'm the skipper, I can't."

Di Canio spent a total of eight years in British football, also playing for Celtic, Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic.


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rhs 2.0
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721

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