Macheda keen to learn
Federico Macheda believes working alongside Michael Owen will help to make him a better player. The Italian starlet burst onto the scene at Manchester United last season and is now widely tipped to have a bright future in the game. At 17 years old he still has much to learn, but his Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson has already labelled him as the deadliest marksman at Old Trafford. He has looked sharp during a pre-season tour of the Far East, and was on target against a Malaysian XI on Monday, but insists he is far from the finished article. Macheda is prepared to put in the graft in order to become one of the world's most feared frontmen, though, and claims United's recent acquisition of England international Owen can only help his cause. "It is very important for me to learn from Michael because he is one of the best strikers in the world," he said. "If I work with him and learn, I can get better every day." Macheda added: "I have to thank Sir Alex because without him I wouldn't have the chance to play in the first team. "I know I have to work hard and make sure he gives me more chances." Macheda could be awarded greater opportunities in the upcoming campaign after United offloaded Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez this summer. A move for Lyon's highly-rated striker Karim Benzema as a potential replacement was touted, with the Red Devils admitting to having tabled a bid. They ultimately failed in their efforts to land the France international, as he opted for a move to Real Madrid, and Lyon have now questioned the figures United claim to have offered for their former talisman. "Lyon deny categorically the information published today in daily newspaper L'Equipe, which said Manchester United made an offer of 40million euros (£34.6m) for the transfer of Karim Benzema," said a statement released by the Ligue 1 giants. "The maximum offer from the Manchester club was 35million euros (£30.3m), which included eventual bonuses, and the director general of Manchester United, David Gill, had clearly stated that his club would not go above this amount. "Lyon point out that it finally accepted the transfer of Karim Benzema to Real Madrid, which was the absolute preference of the player, for a net minimum amount of 35million euros, which could reach a maximum of 41million euros (£35.5m) dependent on sporting performance."
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