Manchester United have paved the way for striker Alan Smith to join Cardiff City on loan after Sir Alex Ferguson gave the short-term move his blessing.
The 26-year-old has made four appearances for United this season after making a quicker than expected return from a horrific ankle injury suffered in an FA Cup clash with Liverpool last February.
With United out of the Carling Cup and not yet certain of their qualification from the group stages of the Champions League, the former Leeds United striker isn't guaranteed any first-team football at Old Trafford for the next few weeks as he feels his way back to full-fitness.
"The fact we are no longer in the Carling Cup, I thought a short term loan would be ideal for him," admitted Ferguson.
"I think he has spoken to someone at Cardiff, but he is not certain about whether to take it or not.
"It is a good opportunity for Alan to get some games in - he really needs football quickly.
"There is a bit of risk about sending him out. But in the present situation, he needs to get through competitive matches and he is still a bit short for us in that.
"But he is improving and it's only through games that he's going to get it back."