Cardiff confirm striker after contract expires at Manchester United

Macheda 2

The Bluebirds have signed one time United hero on three-year deal as they prepare for Championship life.

Cardiff City have signed Federico Macheda on a three-year deal after the Italian’s contract with Manchester United expired at the end of the season.

Macheda, who makes an immediate return to the Championship following his loan spell at Birmingham this season, will become the latest import from United in the Welsh capital, after Fabio and Wilfried Zaha joined in January.

It appears Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is continuing to exploit his strong relationship with his former club, as Macheda becomes the third signing of the summer transfer window for Cardiff, with Javi Guerra and Guido Burgstaller having already arrived.

Macheda scored four goals in 19 appearances at Old Trafford, during a troubled spell at the club. The striker became an instant hero back in 2009 as his late winner against Aston Villa all but handled United their elusive 18th title.

But Macheda struggled to kick on from his moment in the limelight, with five loan spells at Sampdoria, Queens Park Rangers, Stuttgart, Doncaster and most recently Birmingham meaning he was always unlikely to return for another chance at United.

At just 22, there is still many years left for Macheda to prove his worth, with Cardiff offering the prime opportunity to do so. The Bluebirds will acquire a player in hot Championship form, with the striker having netted 10 times in 18 games for Championship side Birmingham. Solskjaer will be excited at the prospect of a proven goal-scorer in the second tier to help boost Cardiff’s chances of an immediate Premier League return.

Macheda’s versatility will also be key for Cardiff in a 46 game season, with the Italian having also proved a strong impact player from the bench in the past. Javi Guerra, Fraizer Campbell and Kenwyne Jones provide the other attacking options at present, with Bournemouth’s Lewis Grabban also expected to arrive.

It is another strong recruit on paper for the Welsh club, but the Bluebirds will be all too familiar with announcing strong signings and not seeing the return on the pitch. Solskjaer knows each player he is bringing in well, and his judgement could well see more managerial success for the Norwegian, as he attempts to climb out of one of the most competitive leagues in the world with Cardiff.

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