Di Canio: Thursday's the deadline

Last updated : 28 January 2002 By Mike Reich
Di Canio: Set to stay
Paolo di Canio has been the subject of press speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United for almost a month now, although rumours have constantly surrounded Paolo with a big money move away from Upton Park. It was only last summer that he was being linked to Watford, where friend Gianluca Vialli is manager, in a £4.5m move.

But stay he did, and it looks as though that will remain the case for some time to come. Whilst Middlesbrough have agreed to a £6.25m fee for United striker Dwight Yorke, the move looks in doubt following seemingly extortionate demands by the Trinidad & Tobago hitman. He is reportedly asking for a deal including a salary of £2.3m, image rights and bonuses amounting to nearly £3m a year.

The Manchester United board are keen for Ferguson to offload the unwanted striker before signing any replacements, with so many strikers on the payroll. With Thursday the Champions' League deadline, it would seem that there isn't enough time for Man U to complete the move.

West Ham MD Paul Aldridge confirmed at the weekend, that there have been no further developments: "We've turned down one offer from United and that's still where it stands," whilst Glenn Roeder praised Paolo for doing so well through a difficult time:

"Paolo di Canio played a full part in the game today and played very well. The speculation surrounding Paolo is starting to become a little unsettling for everyone involved, not least Paolo himself. It's not ideal. This thing has been dragging on for a while now and it's a bit unsettling for all concerned. It has become a saga.

"It will end on Thursday one way or the other. I have said all along that it was too difficult to call which way it would go. I'm only guessing about what could hold it up. I don't think it's anything to do with money. We've been kept in the dark since we turned down the official offer three weeks ago and we have had no more official offers."

Meanwhile, Paolo announced today on his website at Icons.com, that he is continuing to give his all to the team, and even going so far as to claim that it has made him love the West Ham fans even more.

"I'm proud of my performance on Saturday against Chelsea because as usual, my contribution was crucial to the team. It was a good result for us to get a draw having been 1-0 down for so much of the match. Indeed, if you hadn't been to see West Ham over the last month, you would be forgiven for thinking that I haven't been giving my all thanks to some distorted comments by jealous journalists.

"The truth is that I've been performing as well as ever. I've scored goals, I've set up goals and I've run myself into the ground for this club. I just laugh at all these critics because what they're saying is so obviously wrong. Why would the West Ham fans still sing my name every week if I wasn't playing well and working hard?

"I know people will be looking for me to comment on the fact that this week sees the Champions League transfer deadline elapse. But what can I say? I've never asked to leave West Ham and I continue to train as a West Ham player. I continue to prepare for our next game against Southampton.

"I can't stop the speculation but what I can say is that the speculation will not change the love me and the West Ham supporters have for each other In actual fact, it has made it stronger."