SWINDON boss Paolo Di Canio has dismissed speculation linking him with a January move for Portsmouth striker Izale McLeod.

Reports on the south coast have linked Town with a move for Pompey’s top scorer, whose contract at Fratton Park expires on January 16.

Di Canio was interested in bringing McLeod to the County Ground last season while the forward was with Barnet, but concerns over how he would adapt to the Italian’s style of play eventually saw him turn down the chance to sign the 28-year-old.

The Town boss is keen to add to his squad in January as he continues to push towards the top of League One, but insisted he will not be bringing McLeod to Wiltshire.

“He is a very good player and he proved that last year when he scored many goals with a bottom of the table team, and this year he is still scoring at Portsmouth,” he said.

“He is a modern striker who is strong, and he was one of the few players we thought of in the past.

“But in the way we play we need a sense of sacrifice, because our strikers are our first defenders.

“I don’t know McCleod, and in the end I said my team works so hard and he is not an option now.

“Watching him at Portsmouth he has good potential, but is he ready to come in here and work so hard in a training session and then work his socks off off the ball?

“I don’t want to say he doesn’t do this, but having watched the clips and the news and things I can’t risk him.

“He is a very good player, but I play in a way which means I go for another option.”

Di Canio would love nothing more than to possess a striker capable of scoring 40 goals in a season, but values the workrate of his current crop of forwards.

“It is going to be difficult to score 40 goals like Jordan Rhodes did last year, but I talked with Tommy Miller and he said he never ran for the defence, but in the area he is an animal,” he said.

“Obviously if I could have a player like him who scores 20 goals in 20 games I would let him stay there.

“But it is not easy, and if one of my players work so hard and scores maybe 18, he is crucial.”