Lazio rue Macheda transfer

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Lazio president Claudio Lotito has called for a change in regulations regarding home-grown players after witnessing Federico Macheda’s stunning debut for Manchester United.

The 17-year-old striker, who came through the youth ranks at Lazio, made it a debut to remember when he came off the bench against Aston Villa to curl home a brilliant stoppage-time winner.

Macheda joined the Red Devils as a 16-year-old in September 2007, and Lotito is still bitter about the transfer.

At present Italian clubs are not allowed to tie youngsters to professional contracts until the age of 18 whereas in England the age is 16.

"We tried in every way to stop Manchester United from taking away our player but the present Italian regulations don't give you any type of defence," Lotito said.

"In reality we find ourselves in front of a proper cattle market.

"I talked repeatedly with Macheda's parents, we established a dialogue, but it was not possible to do anything.

"We could not compete with United's offer.

"That is not right, we have to be provided with more reliable and concrete rules than those which govern Italian clubs."

Meanwhile Macheda's agent Giovanni Bia admits the player still feels a special connection to Rome, where he grew up, but claims that moving to United was the right choice.

"Rome will always be in his heart," he told Sky Italia.

"He is smart, he knows what he wants and he has clear-cut ideas. At the age of 16 he left everything and that isn't easy.

"Now however it starts getting difficult, he has to understand that he has not done anything at all yet. Luckily at United he is very protected."

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