Federico Macheda
Macheda is hoping to develop his skills at QPR. REUTERS

Roberto Martinez has refused to publicly admit that he is chasing Manchester United youngster Federico Macheda, but the Wigan manager has hinted that a deal could be in the works for the striker as the January transfer window looms.

Macheda has made just five appearances for the Red Devils this season, and though he scored against Crystal Palace in United's shock defeat in the Carling Cup, Sir Alex Ferguson has found little room for the 20 year old in his senior squad.

Macheda has been heavily linked with a move to Wigan for the second half of the season, and while United are typically tight lipped about the situation, Martinez has also insisted he won't make the speculation worse as Wigan prepare to head to Old Trafford on Boxing Day.

"It would be a big mistake to talk about any individuals at this point," Martinez told Sky Sports when asked about Macheda.

"Talking about players, I always find it disrespectful when they represent other football clubs.

"There is a long list. You need to understand, in our football club, when we want to bring a player in, there is a lot of work behind it and you need to go down to detail.

"At the moment, there are many names thrown in the market, as you can expect. We are going to bring the right personalities and the right characters to the club.

"But in many ways we will work hard at it and I am sure January is going to be a positive month for us and that is what we are working towards.

"But we never panic. We never bring players just for the sake of it. We will carry on working on the same lines."

United admitted last month that they would consider loaning their younger players in January after the side's shock loss to Palace in the Cup competition. Ferguson revealed that he believes they need to get more game time under their belts before they can be given a shot on the big stage at Old Trafford.

And Wigan would be the perfect place for Macheda to work on his skills and possibly help the side out of relegation, before returning to United a much more experienced player in the Premier League.