28/05/2014 08:05, Report by M Froggatt, A Bostock

Macheda signs for Cardiff

Italian striker Federico Macheda is joining Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Cardiff City on a free transfer this summer after almost seven years at Manchester United.

The Rome-born youngster signed for the Reds in September 2007 and burst onto the first-team scene in April 2009, when he famously came off the bench to score a last-minute winner against Aston Villa. That victory propelled the Reds back to the top of the table and the Premier League title was clinched a few weeks later. 

Following his dream debut, Macheda went on to make 36 United appearances and score five goals. He also gained invaluable experience while on loan at a variety of clubs including Sampdoria, QPR, Stuttgart, Doncaster and most recently Birmingham City. 

Macheda will become a Cardiff player on 1 July. He told the club's official website: "It’s a massive opportunity for me and it is with thanks to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that I am here. He played a big part of my decision and I’m really looking forward to starting this season.

"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."

Macheda is one of seven players released by United at the end of the 2013/14 campaign. The others are Jack BarmbySam Byrne, Jack Rudge, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs who remains at the club as assistant manager. 

More: Januzaj makes Belgium debut


Premier League