Blackburn Rovers F.C. have completed the signing of England Under-21 defender Michael Keane on loan from Manchester United for the rest of the season, according to Sky Sports.
Keane, 21, has previously spent time on loan at Leicester City (2012/13) and Derby County (2013/14), tallying two goals in 31 Championship appearances.
The highly-rated centre-back, who has scored three goals in eight international caps for England’s Under-21 side, last played for United against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup on 31 October 2012.
On that day, Keane partnered Scott Wootton, now at Leeds United, in central defence for the Reds Devils and Chelsea won 5-4 in a pulsating encounter at Stamford Bridge.
After days of speculation, Blackburn — priced at 28/1 to win promotion to England’s top-flight this season — have finally agreed a deal for the 21-year-old stopper.
“I’m delighted to finally join,” said Keane. “It has been a rumour for a while now, so I’m just glad to get it all sorted.
“I’ve got a bit of experience now in the Championship and I know what it takes to play well in these games, so I’m looking to play well on Sunday and hit the ground running and keep that form up.
“I’m sure it will be a tough game, but I’m confident we can get a result. I’m really looking forward to it. I hope it is my debut and I’ll make sure I’m ready to do well.”
Moreoever, Rovers manager Gary Bowyer is thrilled to add Keane to his squad, which has been ravaged by injuries in recent times.
“If you look at him and some of the games he’s had in his short career, they have been in big games,”Bowyer told the club’s official website, rovers.co.uk.
“He’s played in the play-off finals last season, and he played for Manchester United against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Carling Cup.
“So I don’t think it will phase him at all, we are looking forward to him playing.”
Next up for Blackburn (12-10-10) is a league fixture against promotion hopefuls Burnley (18-12-3) on Sunday.
Federico Macheda preparing for exit
Birmingham City forward Federico Macheda has hinted he expects to leave parent club Manchester United when his contract expires at the end of the season.
The former Italy youth international, 22, has failed to live up to unreasonably high expectations following his stunning match-winning goal on his senior debut against Aston Villa in April 2009.
Prior to this season, Macheda had endured three nightmare loan spells at Sampdoria, Queens Park Rangers and VfB Stuttgart but his successful stint at Doncaster earned him an opportunity at St Andrew’s.
The 22-year-old’s long-term future will — in all likelihood — depend on his performances at Birmingham, with a summer exit from United pretty much a foregone conclusion.
“I don’t think I will stay at United but whatever happens, nobody can take away the memories of my time there,” Macheda told The Telegraph.
“Sir Alex was amazing for me, he believed in me so much. After I scored two goals against Charlton last month he sent me a text message straight after the game. That was incredible because I hadn’t spoken to him for a long time so to get that text was a relief. He said, ‘Well done and keep going’.”
Since arriving in Birmingham, Macheda has scored three goals — all coming in his first two games — in six league appearances for the Blues.