Macheda hopes for Prem stay

Italian striker would prefer to remain in England if he leaves United

Federico Macheda: Has been linked with a summer switch to Benfica

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Federico Macheda has responded to reports suggesting he could be on his way to Benfica by reiterating his desire to remain in English football.

The latest round of transfer rumours claim Manchester United will use Macheda as bait in their efforts to land Benfica playmaker Nicolas Gaitan.

Macheda has fallen out of favour at Old Trafford and recently spent a brief loan spell at Queens Park Rangers, which was cut short by injury.

His time at Loftus Road has not gone entirely to plan, with a managerial change working against him, but the 20-year-old is determined to prove himself in the Premier League.

He admits he would welcome the opportunity to head back to his Italian roots at some stage in the future, but has made it clear that his preference is to stay in England for now.

Unfortunate

"Me to Benfica and Gaitan to Manchester United? I don't know about that, but I want to stay in England in the Premier League," Macheda told tuttomercatoweb.com.

"One day I'd like to return to Italy.

"My experience at Sampdoria last season? I was unfortunate and it was not a good time for me. Would I go back to Sampdoria? I don't know, I would have to think about it.

"I would never go to Roma (as a Lazio supporter), but they do have a nice project building and I know (sporting director, Walter) Sabatini well."