English Premiership

Man City set to cash in on Matondo as clubs target teen talent

2019-01-28 18:58
Pep Guardiola (Supplied)
Pep Guardiola (Supplied)

Manchester - Manchester City are set to cash in on the talent drain from the Premier League to German football by netting an astonishing €13 million for the sale of teenager Rabbi Matondo to Schalke.

The 18-year-old winger has only played four recognised games for Pep Guardiola's club, all of them for the under-21 team in the Football League Trophy this season.

But his form has caught the attention of the Bundesliga side, who are apparently prepared to pay an astonishing figure for a teenager who was capped by Wales earlier this season.

"I know how good he is, he is an incredibly fast winger, so quick, and a young talent," Guardiola told reporters on Monday. "Again, that is a good thing, how good this club is working.

"All the players in the academy, we trust in them. If they want to be patient, they stay. If they want to move, they leave."

While Matondo's promise has been registered in football circles for some time, the prospect of City commanding such a high fee for a virtually unknown youngster is of greater interest.

With his first team path apparently blocked at City, the prospect of following in the footsteps of former City youngster Jadon Sancho, whose career has blossomed since leaving for Borussia Dortmund, must be appealing for the player.

Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi is also currently being heavily tipped to move to German side Bayern Munich.

But the case of Matondo ups the ante, with Borussia Monchengladbach, Leipzig and Hoffenheim having all apparently contacted City to enquire about his availability. 

Even Italian side AC Milan had reportedly been in the competition for a player who could now make his Schalke European debut when the German side face City in the Champions League last-16 next month.

Born in Manchester, Matondo was brought up in Wales from a young age -- hence his availability for Ryan Giggs's national team -- and started his football career in the Cardiff City junior ranks.

Guardiola is preparing for the midweek visit to Newcastle, 24 hours before league leaders Liverpool host Leicester.

With Jurgen Klopp's side holding a slender four-point advantage over City, Guardiola knows his side will play before Liverpool in each of the next three weeks, although the manager refused to accept that might offer his team an advantage.

"In both situations, later or earlier, we win the games if not it's almost over," said Guardiola. 

"Every game is almost a final, the same in the cups. What should we do? If we play after, we have to win and, if we play before, we have to win. 

"All the teams who want to win the title have to feel the pressure, you have to handle it. I think with 15 games left, there are many points to play for and different circumstances.

"There are a lot of games in our legs, we change competitions day by day. So we imagine what Newcastle will do and focus, that's the only way -- to be consistent and try to win."


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