Di Canio On His Way to Old Trafford?

Last updated : 05 January 2002 By Mike Reich
Farewell to Paolo?
Paolo di Canio. One of the best players ever to play for West Ham. You've heard the speculation, but no concrete answers. Manchester United are trying to get Paolo. That is clear. What is not clear is who knows what, how much, how long etc.

From the things that Paolo has said in the past, it would seem that there is little chance of him going anywhere..."The West Ham shirt is like a second skin to me"..."West Ham is an extension of my family"..."I want to stay here for the rest of my career". I could go on.

It should be remembered though that it was Harry Redknapp and West Ham, not Alex Ferguson and Scum United who rescued him from football oblivion. But then some people do have short term memories, don't they?

If he goes, he will miss him. Whatever anyone says, Paolo is a very influential player for us. He has won so many matches for us - most famously against Manchester United last season, and Arsenal a couple of years ago, with two stunning goals.

Many will argue that we have Joe Cole, but he is not the finished article yet. He lacks the potency in attack that Paolo possesses. Fans are saying that he is replaceable. Well, why are Manchester United buying him then? If he is easily 'replaceable' then why don't they go for our replacement? Because there isn't one. Paolo is irreplaceable. He is a unique talent, as Harry Redknapp said "The man's a genius".

So what is the truth then??? Is he going to Old Trafford, or not?

Well, he announced on his Icons website "As you may have noticed, there are a few headlines around about me at the moment. What a crazy way to start the New Year! Seriously, though, I've had thousands of e-mails in the past few days from you and so I know there's a lot of concern among my fans about what's going on.

"I'm going to have to ask you to be patient a little while longer as I don't feel this is quite the right moment for me to speak yet. But you can rest assured that in the next few days I'm going to have a lot to say. I'll be saying it all here on my personal website so keep coming back."

Take from that what you will. Reading between the lines, I would guess that there is a deal there, trying to be struck, and when it has been, Paolo will be a Manchester United player (or will announce that he is still a West Ham player).

What is the more likely? I would like to say that his love and passion for the club would mean that his loyalty would stay intact, and he will, as Glenn Roeder says still be a West Ham player against Leicester.

Unfortunately, I don't share Glenn's optimism on this one.