Manchester United outcast Federico Macheda has revealed how he turned down the chance to return to his native Italy.
The 22-year-old striker joined Championship outfit Birmingham City on loan for the remainder of the season a few hours prior to the close of the January transfer window on Friday night and netted a last-gasp equaliser on his debut for Lee Clarke's side during their enthralling 3-3 draw with Derby County at the weekend.
However, the Manchester United man has revealed how he had the opportunity - which the Daily Star claim was an offer to to return to Serie A - to go back to his homeland but chose to stay in England instead - a country he has obviously developed a keen affinity for.
“I could’ve gone back to Italy - but I won’t tell you the name. I had the chance. But my priority was to stay in England, I love this country," he was quoted by the Daily Star.
Regardless of his difficulties at Manchester United, Macheda is evidently pleased to have made the move to St. Andrew's and is keen to prove his goalscoring prowess in the Midlands.
“I love football here. I’ve been here for seven years now, there’s no better place to play than in England. I only came to Birmingham on Friday night at midnight. I couldn’t even find the hotel!
“It was a bit frustrating for me but now I’m glad to be here, I want to do well for the team. It couldn’t have been a better debut, I’m a striker and I want to score," he added.
While Macheda initially made a surprisingly big impact under Sir Alex Ferguson back in 2009, he has totally failed to impose himself at Old Trafford in recent years and has spent time out on loan with the likes of Queens Park Rangers and Bundesliga outfit Stuttgart.
With his current contract with Manchester United due to expire at the end of season, it seems highly unlikely that he will be offered a new deal to remain with the Premier League champions.
His previous spell in Serie A came on loan with Sampdoria in 2011.