Menu

Schalke 04 winger not thinking about being linked with Manchester United, wanting to concentrate on season instead

Manchester United target Rabbi Matondo has insisted that he is not thinking about speculation linking him to the Old Trafford club this summer, instead knuckling down to help his club, Schalke 04 to finish on a high. However, that came after the Welsh international started for the club in a match they lost 3-0 at the hands of Augsburg.

The former Manchester City academy player was linked to United in the past few weeks, presumably as a much cheaper alternative to Jadon Sancho, who may or may not be a Red Devil in the summer. The player only signed for the Gelsenkirchen club since January 2019. Speaking about United’s attention, he said:

“I am concentrating on Schalke. I still have to achieve my goals for Schalke.

“I am just concentrating on that and we just see how things go, but for now I am just focused on Schalke.

“Hopefully I can get into the team and help them climb up the table.”

Schalke were originally seeking to return to the UEFA Champions League this season, but their recent form, being beaten by Borussia Dortmund and FC Augsburg in the last two match weeks has dented their hopes with the club falling to eighth in the Bundesliga. They will face Fortuna Düsseldorf on Wednesday evening, seeking a return to winning ways.

David Wagner’s side might need a miracle to get into the top four of the Bundesliga this season with them lying 16 points adrift of fourth placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen and with seven matches remaining this season, and 21 points still available, it could be a matter of weeks before top four is an impossibility this season. Matondo continued by saying:

“I haven’t really thought about it like that [a Premier League move].

“I just want to do well at Schalke and give back what they have invested into me.

“I just want to give my all and then whatever happens in the future happens. Never say never.”

The 19-year-old Welsh international has a contract at the Gelsenkirchen that will run until the summer of 2023, meaning the club will be seeking a fee higher than that of the deal which took him to Germany, presumably to be around £11 million, including add-ons. However, he has had little experience and still needs to show his worth on the pitch.

This season, Matondo has made just 15 appearances, playing in the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal. He has scored one goal in total with the jury on his future still being out. making United’s interest a risk more than anything. However, Ryan Giggs has capped the teenager for Wales, meaning the insight from United’s former winger could be glowing.

It will soon be known what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is seeking this summer. However, looking at the state of the squad, which is better than when he started, he will need a striker, a right-winger and maybe a central midfielder. The club are also being linked to central defenders, which suggests one might also be in the offing, is one or two leave the club.

Manchester United identify Schalke winger as back-up to big summer transfer – reports

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.

copyright: JW