London, Apr 7 (ANI): The 17-year-old Manchester United teen sensation, Federico Macheda, earns little more than a grand a week, the amount Rio Ferdinand picks up every two hours.
A row has erupted in Italy with his old club Lazio fuming at being paid so little in compensation after Macheda's match-winner against Aston Villa on Sunday.
Lazio president Claudio Lottito launched a devastating attack on the "immoral" Red Devils for the way they moved in and "stole" Macheda the day after he turned 16 in August 2007, as United took advantage of FIFA rules which prevent players turning pro in Italy before that age.
"We knew Macheda was a great player. We had done everything possible to keep him at Lazio. Nevertheless, Italian laws did not permit that a young lad below 16 years old could sign a contract, so these kids can be stolen by other clubs," The Sun quoted Lottito, as saying.
"These clubs do not respect the ethical code and go to the parents of kids, give them money, maybe even find them work so they 'buy' the parents, who then sign on behalf of their kid.
"These are kids that come from poor families and, to get more money, these families even are willing to go abroad with the hope their kid becomes a great player with a lot of money.
"I spoke with the parents of Macheda, making them a great offer - but they had already decided to leave. It's immoral because this is like people behave in the cattle market. In football it should not happen because it's a sport that is based on authentic values like the respect to the rules," Lattito added.
Macheda hopes scoring United's most crucial goal for years will save him from a year on loan at Rangers. Fergie was considering sending the teenager to Glasgow to sharpen his skills.
But after Sunday's dramatic late winner, Ferguson is tempted to promote the striker to his first-team squad for the 2009-10 season.
United reserve-team boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had no doubt that Macheda would deliver once he got a chance. (ANI)