SWINDON Town have turned down a £900,000 bid from an unnamed club for a senior member of Paolo Di Canio’s squad, the Robins boss has revealed.
The offer, which the Advertiser understands was lodged for winger Matt Ritchie during the club’s tour of Italy last week, was immediately rebuffed by Di Canio - who is keen to keep all the key members of last year’s League Two-winning side with Town ahead of the 2012/13 campaign.
The Italian did not specify the names of the individual or interested club in question but Ritchie has been the subject of significant interest from elsewhere over the last eight months, with Bournemouth seeing three bids for his services rejected by the Robins between November and January, and the former Portsmouth man remains one of Swindon’s hottest properties.
“Nine-hundred-thousand is not a crazy offer in my opinion for a League One side, especially for Swindon that has no problem financially,” said Di Canio.
“It’s not the latest news, not one hour ago, but a few days ago or maybe a week ago - but I denied it straight away and said no.
“Even if they offered me two League One players and some money I would say no because for me this player is crucial.
“I think it’s better to have this player than two League One players plus some money. Maybe it would be a larger squad but not the quality like the player I’ve got.
Di Canio stressed on Tuesday that only “crazy offers” would tempt him to part with his prized assets, and he did not consider the approach to be of that level.
“Crazy no, in my opinion it’s not crazy because the value that I’ve given to my players are much higher than the club’s,” he said.
“Perhaps I’m crazy because I think some of my players cost in this moment maybe £3million - someone maybe would pay £100,000. It’s not for us because we don’t have a problem, we keep the best players.
“If they come with £2.5million maybe I can think yes because I already have some targets that give us the opportunity to be a top, top, top League One team on paper.”