Paolo Di Canio has apologised to Charlton fans after annulling his contract with the club to secure a return to Lazio.

The 36-year-old Italian claimed returned to his homelandbecause of his family’s desire to live in the Italian capital.

“When I signed my contract with Charlton in the summer, it was my intention to do everything I could to help the club improve upon its seventh place in the Premier League last season,” he told Charlton’s official website.

“However, in recent weeks it has become clear to me how much my family wish to stay in Rome.

“This, coupled with the fact that Lazio are prepared to offer me a contract, has convinced me that the time is right for me to return to Rome.

“This is possibly the most difficult career decision I have ever had to make and I can only apologise to Alan Curbishley and the supporters of Charlton, for whom I have the greatest affection.

“I have often said I wished I joined Charlton earlier in my career, and whatever has happened I will always believe this to be so.

“The supporters were always right behind me and I hope they will not be angry with me and will understand that, where your family is involved, you sometimes have to do things which are very painful.”