West Ham Utd legend Paolo Di Canio has revealed that he turned down the opportunity to make a move for Manchester United at the latter stages of his football career.
While Di Canio represented nine different teams during his playing days, the Italian made the biggest impact at West Ham United where he has managed to found back of the net 52 times from 141 games between 1999 and 2003.
However, the controversial attacker has acknowledged that he was provided with the chance to secure a move for the 20-times English champions at the end of 2001, only he rejected Sir Alex Ferguson due to 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 has spent a total of eight years in British football, also playing for Scottish giants Celtic, Charlton Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday.