Manchester United's Federico Macheda is keen to make his loan move to Stuttgart permanent despite having failed to score since his January transfer window move to the Bundesliga side.

The Italian under-21 international has featured six times for the German side this season, but is yet to score as his career continues to flounder.

But Macheda has already seen encouraging signs during his short spell at the Mercedes-Benz Arena that his talent can develop, and with opportunities at United few and far between, the 21 year old would be open to a long-term stay.

Federico Macheda
Macheda wants a permanent switch to Stuttgart.

"In the winter, the move (to Stuttgart) was only a loan option but I knew there would be a chance to remain at the club after it," Macheda told BILD.

"If Stuttgart want to sign me permanently, I would be very happy.

"Back at Manchester United it was always difficult for me due to the competition for first team spots.

"It would be great to remain at Stuttgart. Over here the coaches are working with young players and I feel I could progress at this club as a player."

Macheda has scored five goals in 34 matches since making his professional debut in 2009, scoring against Aston Villa in the last minute; a crucial goal in United's successful title winning campaign.

But the signings of Javier Hernandez and latterly Robin van Persie has seen Macheda marginalised at Old Trafford, with opportunities limited to the League Cup.

The forward has endured difficult loan spells at both Sampdoria, where he scored once in 16 games, and at Queens Park Rangers, a spell that ended prematurely after an ankle injury.

He featured in the League Cup defeat to Chelsea as an extra time substitute for United this season, before appearances in the Champions League defeats to Galatasaray and CFR Cluj.

Macheda is expected to make his first start for Stuttgart in Thursday's Europa League first leg for against the side from the city of his birth, Lazio.

Stuttgart are currently using their European campaign as a distraction from their disastrous domestic season, which sees them 11<sup>th with 10 games left, a full seven points off the pace in the race to qualify for the Europa League once again.