Date: 7th January 2010 at 6:08pm
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Bologna want Federico Macheda on loan. The Italian striker had limited opportunities this campaign, not least because of injuries and the Italian club would love to take him on a temporary basis which might be beneficial for him as he could gain a little match sharpness and some crucial experience of top-flight football.

‘Bologna have asked for him but we have to evaluate things with Manchester United,’ his agent Giovanni Bia told Tuttomercatoweb.

‘This afternoon I have a telephone appointment with them, but it will be difficult for them to let him go. If they will do it, it would be on loan.’

I’m not sure about this. Being loaned is not necessarily a disaster for a young player, as the examples of Gerard Pique and Jonny Evans clearly show (or we could cite David Beckham as well). However, there are a lot of youngsters who failed to make an impact at United after going out on loan, like Giuseppe Rossi whom we lost because he felt he would not get enough opportunities.

Macheda would certainly benefit from regular football and he’s unlikely to get much of it at Old Trafford, now that we’re out of the FA Cup and that a new, more experienced striker arrived who, according to Sir Alex, will play a part – and surely not at the expense of Rooney. In the end, young players have to play and Macheda looks certain to be only the fifth or sixth option up front.