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Five Aside

QPR sign United striker Macheda

Manchester United striker Federico Macheda has joined Premier League rivals QPR on loan until the end of the season.

• Agent: Macheda 95% likely to join QPR
• Fergie looks to send duo on loan

QPR manager Neil Warnock has targeted four new players to boost his "small squad" and Macheda, 20, becomes the London club's first signing of the January transfer window.

Macheda, who will wear the number 33 shirt at Loftus Road, spent a similar loan spell with Sampdoria in Serie A last season and hopes to gain valuable first-team experience during his time at QPR.

"There is a lot of competition at Manchester United, there are some very good strikers there," Macheda told the club's website. "But I am still young and I need to get more experience in the Premier League.

"I am here to train hard firstly and then I hope to play a big part in the games."

Macheda is eligible for Monday's vital Premier League encounter with Norwich and is looking forward to playing with his new team-mates.

"I was attracted by the challenge and by the players that QPR brought in during the summer," he said. "There are some very big players at the club now and I am really looking forward to training and playing with them.

"I also know the fans are very, very passionate, and this interested me also."

Macheda revealed United defender Rio Ferdinand - brother of QPR defender Anton - advised him to link up with Warnock's side.

"I spoke with Rio and he told me that QPR is a very good club and that if I did come here it would be good for me and would help me to develop as a player," he said. "I am looking forward to this challenge."

The former Lazio striker came to the public's attention when he scored an injury-time winner on his Manchester United debut against Aston Villa in April 2009.

Macheda scored a further four goals for United but his first-team chances have been limited, which QPR manager Warnock believes makes the loan deal a "great opportunity for both parties".

"Federico is not getting a regular game at United quite obviously because of the quality of the squad they've got," he said.

"Everybody in the league is in envy of what Sir Alex has there, but what he is trying to do is get Federico some game time in the Premier League. I am sure he is still a part of their future plans.

"I believe this can really work for us because he is positive and always in and around the box. He can finish too.

"He puts defenders under pressure, he's a strong lad and he's got a yard of pace as well. If we can get him the ball in the right areas I am sure he can get us a few goals.

"It's a great way for us to start the January transfer window. I have said all along that we want to get a couple of younger lads in and that's what we are going to do."


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