Di Canio
Paulo Di Canio says he was tapped up by Manchester United.

West Ham favourite, Paulo Di Canio has claimed that Manchester United's Alex Ferguson tapped him up on two separate occasions.

The FA prohibits a club approaching a player without his clubs permission but Di Canio is claiming United approached him twice whilst he was at West Ham.

"While at West Ham I turned down the chance to play for Manchester United twice." Di Canio said to the Advertiser "Sir Alex Ferguson called me around Christmas time two years in a row and both times I said no.

"Even if I was close to the end of my career with the last chance to play in the Champions League or play to win something more, I was sure that I should stay with West Ham because it was more important for me to create something special and remain forever within a club like West Ham's history.

"I remain in their heart like they remain in my heart, because every time I went there for the last four years the fans always took to me as though I was still playing for them. Obviously Lazio is in my blood, but West Ham is the place where I feel I belong and feel happy in life."

The Red Devils did had an official £1.5million bid rejected by the Hammers in the January transfer window of 2002. The bid was reasonably low for the charismatic Italian forward, but Di Canio said the reason the move fell through was because his gardener said he would kill his fish if he moved away from West Ham.

"The man who feeds my piranhas says he will kill them if I leave, so I said I won't go," he claimed. "I begged him not to kill them as they are like my children. So now the fish are happy"