Former West Ham forward Paolo Di Canio believes he is on the brink of securing a coaching position in England next season.

The 42-year-old has a coaching licence and has been linked with a return to the Hammers following their relegation from the Premier League.

“I believe my future will be in England,” Di Canio said.

“In the next few days something will happen, perhaps in an inferior division. English football is loyal, full of pride and I believe I’m close to returning to England.

“It is the country that I most love from a football standpoint.”

Nakata headlines charity match

Japanese superstar Hidetoshi Nakata is to headline an earthquake charity match in Hong Kong against Spain’s Villarreal today week.

The midfielder, known as Japan’s answer to David Beckham in his playing days, will turn out for Hong Kong league champions Kitchee in the fund-raiser at the Hong Kong Stadium.

“We are happy to have secured Nakata’s services,” Kitchee boss Ken Ng Kin said.

“He has been very busy playing in a number of charity games and has to change his schedule to come to Hong Kong. Nakata will wear jersey number 80 as the match is also part of the club’s 80th anniversary celebrations.”

Marchisio pens new Juventus deal

Claudio Marchisio has signed a five-year contract extension with Juventus that will keep him at the Turin club until June 2016.

The 25-year-old midfielder, part of Juve’s first team since 2006, had been linked with a move to Inter this summer.

“It’s an extremely important day for me and I would like to dedicate it to my family, who have always supported me,” Marchisio said.

“I began my association with Juventus in 1993 and I’m happy that I’ve been able to extend my stay.

“My contract situation’s been spoken about a lot in previous months, but from the club’s or my point of view there’s never been a moment which has put our relationship in jeopardy.”

Stekelenburg keen on United move

Maarten Stekelenburg has admitted he would be “insane” if he did not want to play for Manchester United, but insists the only offer he currently has on the table is to stay at Ajax.

With Edwin van der Sar due to retire at the end of the season, the man who replaced him in the Dutch national team has been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford.

“I have received a fantastic offer from Ajax which is under consideration,” he said.

“There has been nothing else, zero. Maybe because I have been injured.”

But he added: “Anybody who does not want to play in England for Manchester United would be in-sane.”

Robert Pires reveals MLS interest

Aston Villa midfielder Robert Pires revealed he has received a plea from former Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry to join him in Major League Soccer (MLS) next season.

The 37-year-old Frenchman signed a short term contract with Villa in October and will be a free agent in the summer. Pires will now speak to Villa to find out if he has a future at the Midlands club.

“Thierry has phoned me. He said ‘come over and play with me’ but there are no real offers yet,” Pires said.

“For the moment, there is nothing else because the Premier League is not yet finished for the season. I will wait until it is finished.

“I am relaxed about it. I still feel fit enough to play.”

Defoe unsettled at Tottenham

Jermain Defoe has said he would consider leaving Tottenham if he fails to make it back as a regular starter in the side. The striker has dropped out of Harry Redknapp’s first-choice team this season as he has struggled for goals, with only four in the league all campaign.

“I want to help the club achieve things but when you feel like you are working hard and being professional, and then for some reason you are not playing, it is difficult,” Defoe said.

“It is frustrating. At the end of the day I am ambitious. I want to play in every game and score goals, especially when you score goals for a fantastic club like Tottenham.

“It has been really, really hard to be honest. Players come and go, that is just football and it is out of my hands.”

Roma owner plots American swoop

New Roma owner Thomas Di Benedetto plans to bring in an American player during the summer transfer window.

The US businessman is close to finally taking control of the Italian club and has spoken of his intentions in an interview.

“We are obviously scouting players everywhere and we are also interested in American products, both in MLS and abroad,” Di Benedetto said.

“I obviously can’t tell you any names, but we want only the best for our team.”

Rumours suggest that Roma are keeping a close eye on Aston Villa’s Michael Bradley, who is owned by Borussia Monchengladbach, and LA Galaxy’s Landon Donovan.

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