Monday, January 3, 2011

Sampdoria snap up Macheda on loan

Sampdoria snap up Macheda on loan

January 3, 2011

Sampdoria have confirmed that Federico Macheda is to join them on loan until the end of the season.

Federico Macheda Manchester United
GettyImagesFederico Macheda has only started five games for Man United this season, scoring once

The Serie A club's president, Riccardo Garrone, hailed the deal in the light of the recent departure to AC Milan of Antonio Cassano. "I am very happy that Macheda has chosen Sampdoria and I think it's the same for the fans," said Garrone. "Macheda has easily filled the void left by Cassano, he will definitely do well. In these five months we will try to treat him well. With him here, the enthusiasm has increased tenfold."

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson wants Macheda to get first team football, and has indicated he will only loan him to a club that will offer him a place in the starting line-up.

Sir Alex had been eager for Macheda to sign for an English club despite interest in Italy from Sampdoria, Inter, Juventus, Fiorentina and Lazio and West Brom boss Roberto Di Matteorevealed his interest in the forward on Monday.

"Macheda is someone we looked at right at the start of last season," Di Matteo said. "He's a striker, we are after a striker and we have to look at whether Manchester United will let him join us.''

But the Italian teenager has now returned to his homeland instead, after his agent Giovanni Bia claimed that a deal with Sampdoria has almost been completed.

"The only thing missing is the formalities," Bia told Sky Sport 24. "I hope to finish everything by tonight so the player will be available for Sunday.''

On whether the duration of the loan spell will be six months, Bia added: "The idea is this. Then it will be evaluated with Manchester United and they will need to see if he stays in Italy for another year. It is 99% he would go straight back to Manchester United.''

The Italy Under-21 international has found chances limited at Old Trafford this term, starting just two Premier League games with five further appearances from the substitutes' bench. His only goal in all competitions came in the dramatic comeback at Aston Villa as United drew 2-2.

Macheda has suffered with injuries since bursting onto the scene, making a scoring debut against Villa to help United take the 2008-09 Premier League title. Ferguson hopes that regular top-flight action will help the 19-year-old's development.