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Page last updated at 19:02 GMT, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 20:02 UK

Hammers legend Di Canio rules out immediate return

Paolo di Canio
Di Canio was at Upton Park from 1999 - 2003

West Ham legend Paolo Di Canio wants to manage his former club, but admits the current vacancy has come too soon.

"It is my dream to go back there one day, but now it's too early," the Italian told BBC London 94.9.

The 41-year-old ex-striker is working to obtain his official coaching qualifications, and says he would love a chance to manage his former team.

"I still have to improve my knowledge, but maybe one day I can get that job, it would be fantastic."

Di Canio, who played at the Boleyn Ground from 1999 until 2003, still considers the club and fans very close to his heart.

"At the end of the season it is important that the team stayed up," he said.

He also feels that Hammers fans can trust the new owners to run the club correctly.

"The new chairmen [David] Gold and [David] Sullivan are trying to do their best because they are also West Ham supporters.

"So now the fans can be sure that everything they do is for the best of the team," he added.

The Italian also emphasised his love for the supporters.

"I hope they can do a good job, because West Ham fans are fantastic. They are still in my heart and whenever I go back there, I feel at home," he said.

West Ham sacked manager Gianfranco Zola after less than two years in charge at Upton Park, following a season which saw them finish just above the relegation zone.

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