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Di Canio urges Benson to accept offer
PAOLO Di Canio has urged Paul Benson to seriously consider a contract offer from an unnamed League Two club, stressing that Swindon Town will not allow Portsmouth to keep the striker beyond January 16.
Benson’s loan spell at Fratton Park expires next Wednesday and the frontman has already stated his desire to stay with Pompey, turning down a deal with Bradford City which would have reportedly kept him on wages similar to those he is currently earning at the County Ground.
Now the former Charlton man is mulling over a second approach, believed to be from nearby Cheltenham, and Di Canio said Benson should think long and hard about taking the opportunity on offer to him.
“With Benson, I have to be clear. The lad is a fantastic lad, he was fantastic for us last year, he’s a fantastic professional. I can understand that now he thinks he’s well at Portsmouth because, even if they’ve got financial problems and the team are struggling near the bottom, he is playing regular football in front of 12,000 people and he feels very good there.
“I can’t make him happy and not get anything. He received a very good offer, in my opinion, at his age it is a fantastic offer. This is my view, my opinion. He said no. It was a one-year extension of his contract.
“He hoped that we could help him remain there but it is not possible. He received another offer after the first one. The first one was far, the second one was very close.
“I can understand but he was really lucky to have to big options at his age. He deserves it because he is a good professional and a good, committed player.
“I hope he’s going to think about that because on January 16 he’s got to accept that we’re not going to give him the chance to stay at Portsmouth. We can’t give a gift away, with all respect to Portsmouth.”
Meanwhile, Di Canio revealed that he is still trying to sort out deals that would take Luke Rooney and Lee Cox away from Wiltshire.
“Lee Cox and Rooney we are working on, we will see what can happen,” he said.