Paolo di Canio 'will never play' Leon Clarke again

Paolo di Canio
Di Canio took over as Swindon manager in May

Swindon Town manager Paolo di Canio says striker Leon Clarke will never play for the club again.

The two came to blows after the Robins' Carling Cup defeat by Southampton on Tuesday night.

"Fortunately, he's out now even if he's under contract. He's never going to play with my team, never," Di Canio told BBC Wiltshire.

Former QPR forward Clarke, 26, had only been with the club 11 days when the incident happened.

It started on the pitch when Clarke got into a disagreement with fitness coach Claudio Donatelli and as Di Canio appeared to try and diffuse the situation, Clarke and his Italian boss started to row and it continued into the tunnel.

"I discovered that two days [before the game] he asked to leave. I didn't know that before because I wouldn't play a player in a Swindon shirt who asked to leave.

"He doesn't deserve to wear a Swindon Town shirt in front of the fans."

Clarke arrived at the League Two club on a free transfer following his release from QPR in the summer.

He had struggled for form at Rangers and at previous club Sheffield Wednesday, and spent much of his time on loan.

With Clarke likely to be sent out on loan when the window opens next week, Di Canio, whose Swindon side have not won in the league since the opening game of the season, said he is now keen to move on from the incident.

"We have to go through this moment and then we will be OK," he added.

"I hope he can find a club because as a man I know that everyone can make a mistake."

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