Maccarone set for return home

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Middlesbrough striker Massimo Maccarone is set to return to Italy on loan and his agent has told skysports.com that he is in talks with a number of clubs about the striker.

The Italian international has struggled to regain full fitness this season after sustaining a serious ankle injury in pre-season.

He is yet to score in The Premiership, but has been limited to mainly substitute appearances.

The player himself has now admitted he would like to move back to his homeland on a temporary basis.

"I just want to play. This is what is important so that next year I will be able to return in the best condition to Middlesbrough," he said.

"I need to play six months in Italy and Empoli would be the ideal solution seeing as I feel at home there."

Emopli are one the clubs interested in taking Maccarone, but Palermo, Fiorentina, Sampdoria, Perugia and Bologna are also in the hunt.

His agent Paolo Fabbri confirmed to skysports.com that he was seeking to secure a deal for his client.

"I spoke to Steve McClaren recently and we agreed with Massimo that a loan might be the best thing," he confirmed.

"He is still not fully fit and going back to Italy could be the ideal thing for him.

"A number of clubs are interested and the likes of Empoli, Fiorentina and Palermo are all interested - but nothing is concrete as there are other clubs also."

Fabbri confirmed that there was no intention of Maccarone leaving on a permanent basis.

"He wants to succeed at Middlesbrough and he loves it in England, he will not be moving permanently - there is no question of that happening," he added.