Federico Macheda has signed a three-year contract at Cardiff City, and has immediately set his sights on a return to the Premier League.
The Bluebirds appeared in the top-flight for the first time in 51 years this term, but due to a turbulent campaign which saw popular manager Malky Mackay replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in January, it proved to be a brief flirtation as they finished bottom of the table. The Norwegian coach has vowed to battle on at the Welsh club and lead them to promotion next term, and he has boosted his firepower by signing Macheda.
Having failed to live up to his early promise at Manchester United, when the Italian scored two vital goals in the Reds title success of 2008-09, he has spent much of the past four years on loan at Sampdoria, Queens Park Rangers, VfB Stuttgart, Doncaster Rovers and Birmingham City, the latter of whom he scored 10 goals in 18 Championship appearances for last season. Such a return would be welcomed at the Cardiff City Stadium next season, and the 22-year-old is confident he can impress his new employers.
“It’s a massive opportunity for me and it is with thanks to Ole that I am here,” he told the official club website. “Last season I had a good spell on loan at Birmingham City, but this is a new chapter of my career now and I can’t wait to get started and show everyone who I am. Knowing Ole, he wants to get back into the Premier League as soon as possible and the recent signings show that. I’m here for the same reason. I feel that this is a great team and if we can have a good season and work hard then we can go straight back up.”
It has also been confirmed that Cardiff have signed another striker, Adam Le Fondre, from Reading, for an undisclosed fee. The 27-year-old, who scored 41 goals in 109 appearances for the Royals, has penned a three-year deal with City, and like Macheda, he admits the chance of working with former Old Trafford legend Solskjaer was a big pull for him when making his decision.
“It’s such a great opportunity for me to come here to Cardiff City and play for a boyhood hero of mine in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer,” he said. “It was a move I just couldn’t say no to. I’m delighted to be working with Ole and I can’t wait to get started. Scoring is what I’m about. I’ve often got into double figures during my career although, looking back at last season, it’s one I really wanted to score more in personally. They are the high standards I set myself and now the aim is to do that with Cardiff.”
Whilst Solskjaer will hope to add more names to his squad before the 2014/15 begins in August, he is also mindful that he faces a task in retaining some of his star players. Goalkeeper David Marshall impressed in the top-flight last season, whilst defender Steven Caulker and striker Fraizer Campbell are also likely to be in demand, and Chile international midfielder Gary Medel also has his fair share of admirers.