Macheda: United will get a stronger player
Federico Macheda has confirmed he is closing in on a loan move to Sampdoria and is hoping a spell in Serie A will further his development. The striker has been a peripheral figure at Old Trafford this season after bursting on to the scene with a number of crucial goals as Manchester United clinched the 2008/09 Premier League title.
Sir Alex Ferguson decided the 19-year-old needed regular playing time, and Sampdoria appear to have emerged as his destination after edging out his former club Lazio in the race to take Macheda on loan until the end of the campaign.
The Italy U-21 striker told Gazzetta dello Sport: "There are still a couple of faxes [to be sent], but sometime between Wednesday and Thursday I will be in Italy. Genoa is a beautiful city and I am happy."
Macheda is hoping a spell in his homeland will make him a better player. "I am only playing ten- to 20-minute spells in games currently and that is not helping my growth," he explained.
"Ferguson is of the same opinion. In this regard, we are all happy because in six months' time, Manchester United will get a stronger player."
Samp moved for Macheda after Antonio Cassano's controversial departure for AC Milan following a row with club president Riccardo Garrone. But the Rome-born youngster was keen to stress he should not be viewed as a direct replacement for the former Real Madrid star.
"Cassano is a champion, while it's the first time I will have played in Serie A," he said. "Cassano and I are players with very different characteristics and on two different levels.
"I know there is a lot of expectation on me but the responsibility does not scare me. If I don't play I won't mature. Here the football is very tactical but I have no fear."