Federico Macheda has signed a four-year contract extension with Manchester United.
The 18-year-old Italian striker made a significant contribution to last season’s Premier League title triumph, scoring late winners against Aston Villa and Sunderland which ultimately proved pivotal in securing the Red Devils’ 18th league championship.
And, while Macheda has found appearances harder to come by this term, Ferguson has no doubt about the player’s long-term future.
“We are delighted by the new four year deal,” said the United boss.
“Everyone at the club recognises the fantastic talent he has and we hope to see that develop in the next years, so he becomes a well rounded player.”
Macheda made his fifth appearance of the season last night when he came on as a substitute during the second half of United's 2-0 Carling Cup win over Tottenham.
He is yet to score this season, although with Ferguson pledging to stick with his youngsters for the semi-final, Macheda should be guaranteed at least two more games, plus next week’s Champions League tie with Wolfsburg in Germany.
After signing him from Lazio on his 16th birthday, United are acutely aware of Macheda’s potential, which has also been spotted in Italy, where he has won three Under-21 caps.
“I am very happy to commit my future to Manchester United,” said Macheda.
“I really enjoyed myself last season when I came on and I hope to get more chances like that and contribute to the team’s success.”