Manchester United are reportedly monitoring Schalke 04 winger Rabbi Matondo as a possible back-up option should the club not manage to sign Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho this summer. It is suggested by the Manchester Evening News that United have been scouting the 19-year-old former Manchester City player this season.
Matondo would be a more cost effective signing than Sancho, who would cost United in excess of £100 million this summer, which because of the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic could be an impossible fee to pay, even for United. Last summer, after seemingly failing with Sancho, United turned to Daniel James instead.
United paid £15 million to sign James from Swansea City last summer, which was a deal which was delayed due to the player’s father dying suddenly. Wales coach Ryan Giggs gave United the indication to sign James last summer and Matondo would fall into the same category. He is an international teammate of James and has played regularly.
It is expected that Schalke will sell some first team players this summer to make up for lost revenue from the coronavirus pandemic, which is something a number of teams from world football might have to do. United need to do this anyway, clearing deadwood from the team, some of whom are on high wages, playing little football with is unsustainable.
With the restart of the Bundesliga this weekend, the Borussia Dortmund versus Schalke derby is one of the matches involved in one of Europes biggest leagues returning which could see Sancho versus Matondo, giving United fans a chance to see that the Welsh international is capable of. If he can become a player like Sancho, he might be a good gamble.
Manchester City fans might think that United have an obsession in their former players, which will raise their egos and make it something they have never been able to say or think before, considering City players of the past were not really fit to lace United’s player’s boots. It would also show that developing youth is not something they do all that well.
Matondo started his youth career at Cardiff City and with him being born in Liverpool to parents from the DR Congo, this meant he was eligible to play for the DR Congo, England or Wales – choosing Wales. In 2016, he moved to Manchester City, spending two and a half years in the academy there. He did not make a first team appearance for City.
In the summer of 2019, Matondo signed for Schalke 04 in a fee that could cost up to £11 million, signing a four and a half year deal with the German club. The Welsh winger has played 21 times for Schalke’s first team, scoring one goal. It may not be the best of statistics for the teenager but United could be onto something here.
The teenage winger has played in four positions at Schalke this season, playing five times as a second striker, scoring his only goal so far, four times as a right-winger, and twice as both a centre-forward and a left-winger. He was capped by Wales for the the first time in 2018, making three more appearances in 2019.