Former Swindon chairman Jeremy Wray claims Paolo Di Canio will need another step up the managerial ladder before returning to West Ham.
The Hammers legend has emerged as a contender for the Upton Park top job should Sam Allardyce not be offered a new deal.
The Italian spent four years with the east London club and instantly became a cult hero for the Irons faithful.
But Wray, who appointed the 44-year-old at the County Ground, claims Di Canio needs another challenge before arriving back at the Boleyn Ground.
“There’s a big difference between a managerial career and a playing career,” he told the Sports Bar. “Sir Alex Ferguson he’s been in managing for 30 years, but he didn’t need to do it all in the third year of his career. There are very few people who stay for 20 odd years at a club.
“There will be somewhere in between [Swindon and West Ham]. I was hoping it was taking Swindon into the Championship, [but some things aren't meant to be].”
And Wray claims there isn’t a shortage of admirers who would be willing to give Di Canio a chance at their club after his decision to quit Swindon.
“He’s the sort of person who would leave a job even if he doesn’t have another one [lined up],” he added. “I’d be staggered if he left because he had another job.
“There won’t be a shortage of takers though. Swindon’s loss will be someone else’s gain. Someone asked me if he’s going to be the next Jose Mourinho and I said ‘no, he’ll be the first Paolo Di Canio.'”