EX-SHEFFIELD Wednesday star Paolo Di Canio is hoping to speak to his former clubs to help in his role as the new manager of Swindon.
He will start by looking to get loan signings from Tottenham and AC Milan
Di Canio aims to use his contacts to bring in players to boost Swindon’s promotion push next season after they were relegated to League Two.
The Italian will take his first managerial steps at the Wiltshire club after signing a two-year contract to succeed Paul Hart, who departed at the end of last month following relegation from League One.
It means he will be back in South Yorkshire next season when Swindon play Rotherham United, who will also be chasing promotion.
Di Canio, who was officially unveiled as Town’s new manager at a press conference at the County Ground this week, played under Harry Redknapp for two-and-a-half years at West Ham and has already spoken to the Tottenham boss about possible loan signings.
He has also been in contact with Italian giants AC Milan, with whom he won the Serie A title in 1996 during his only season at the San Siro.
However, the 42-year-old insists that the core of the team will remain English.
“We are close to signing Lionel Messi,” Di Canio joked. “But seriously, we need people with good physical qualities. And that happens everywhere, not just League Two.
“I have good contacts.
“But most players that we want to bring in are English. We are in England, they know this football and they know how to win this league.
Asked about beginning his managerial career in England, Di Canio said: “For me it was an easy decision.
“I played in this country for several years, it is my second home. I love England, I love the life.
“It was important for me to choose the right place, and this is it.
“I saw the enthusiasm and desire to win. I want to have success. I want to win and this is the best place.
“I am sure of my knowledge and my thinking on football. I am not nervous, I feel excited. I like to compete and have a chance because when I used to play I liked to help the players achieve their ambitions.”
The Italian added: “I want to play good football, attractive football with passion and desire.
“If we win, we together - for the club, for me, for the players and especially for the fans.
“The fans are the most important part of the club anywhere in the world. Can you imagine playing in an empty stadium? It must never happen.
“When I got closer to the stadium today I thought maybe one day we can celebrate with people inside it.”