Former Manchester United youngster set for a return to professional football

Federico Macheda of Nottingham Forest and Jason Shackell of Derby County (R) in action

Who remembers Federico Macheda? Manchester United fans certainly will, but things never got any better than that goal against Villa.

Former Manchester United youngster Federico Macheda is reportedly set for a return to Serie A with Palermo, according to Football Italia.

The 25-year-old striker is currently a free agent having been released by Cardiff City in August after a return of just six goals in just 27 Championship appearances for the Bluebirds.

Macheda also failed to find the net in an unsuccessful loan spell at Nottingham Forest last season, which yielded just three league appearances.

Federico Macheda of Nottingham Forest and Jason Shackell of Derby County (R) in action

Overall, the former Italy under-21 international has accrued a meagre 27 professional club goals in a nomadic career that has included short-lived spells at Sampdoria, Doncaster, Stuttgart, QPR and Birmingham.

However, according to Football Italia, Macheda’s agent has entered negotiations with Palermo in order to kick-start a reputation that stalled almost immediately after he scored a stunning winner off the bench against Aston Villa in 2009 to send Manchester United on their way to a third successive Premier League title.

Palermo, owned by president Maurizio Zamparini, are desperate for a new centre-forward having failed to agree terms with Liverpool outcast Mario Balotelli (below) in the latter stages of the summer transfer window, as reported by ESPN.

Picture Supplied by Action Images

However, there is little to suggest that Macheda will be the man to revive their fortunes. His career peaked on debut and plummeted ever since while his lack of match fitness is also likely to be a concern, having not made a senior appearance since Forest’s 3-0 defeat to Brentford in April.

Conversely, aged just 25, he may still have time to prove exactly why Sir Alex Ferguson turned to him to rescue United’s ailing title ambitions that fateful April evening.

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