Federico Macheda: Cardiff City sign striker after Man Utd release

Cardiff City have signed former Manchester United striker Federico Macheda on a free transfer.

The 22-year-old Italian is available from 1 July after being released by the Old Trafford club.

Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer coached Macheda in the reserve side at United before he broke into the Reds first team as a 17-year-old.

Macheda spent last season on loan at Championship side Birmingham, scoring 10 goals in 18 appearances.

Cardiff announced the signing via social media, on which the player said: "It's a massive opportunity for me and it is with thanks to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that I am here.

"I'm really looking forward to starting this season. This is a new chapter of my career and I can't wait to get going."

The former Lazio youth player became an instant Old Trafford hero when he scored an injury-time winner on his debut against Aston Villa in April 2009.

But despite that early success, Macheda has struggled to claim a regular first-team place and has spent time on loan in Germany with Stuttgart and in his native Italy with Sampdoria, as well as having spells with Queens Park Rangers and Doncaster Rovers.

Macheda is Solskjaer's third signing this summer, with the Bluebirds having already recruited Spanish striker Javi Guerra, 32, and Austrian midfielder Guido Burgstaller, 25.

But Cardiff are playing down reports of a bid from Leicester City for striker Fraizer Campbell, with Solskjaer keen for the 26-year-old to remain at the Cardiff City stadium.

Campbell, who signed from Sunderland in January 2013 for £650,000, has a release clause in his contract following Cardiff's relegation from the Premier League.