Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson believes he could have turned former West Ham star Paolo di Canio into an icon.

"Di Canio would have been capable of becoming a truly great player at Manchester United," Ferguson told The Times. "I mean, he was a great player.

"But when you have a player like Di Canio, who expresses himself as an individual, like [George] Best and Cantona did, and [Ryan] Giggs, [Wayne] Rooney, Ronaldo and [Dimitar] Berbatov do . . . we make heroes quickly here. Di Canio could have been in that category."