Welsh teen Matondo joins Schalke from Man City
Matondo has already trained with his new team after completing a medical check at Gelsenkirchen-based Schalke, who face Manchester City in the last 16, first-leg, of the Champions League on February 20.
“It’s a great adventure for me – I already knew a lot about Schalke 04: Mesut Ozil, Ivan Rakitic and Leroy Sane all took important steps in their careers here,” said Matondo, who joined City from Cardiff City‘s academy in 2016.
“There were lots of good discussions with the coach and my new teammates only have good things to say.
“The Bundesliga is a great league and Schalke 04 is the right decision for my footballing future.”
Matondo, who became a full Wales international last November, reportedly cost nine million euros ($10.275m), with an option in his contract for City to buy him back for 50m euros – although he has not made a single Premier League appearance.
“We are happy that we have been able to convince Rabbi without much publicity that joining us is the right decision for him,” said Schalke‘s director of sport Christian Heidel.
Matondo arrives in Germany highly rated by City boss Pep Guardiola, who described him as “incredibly fast” after the Welsh teen featured in the Premier League 2 and UEFA Youth League this season for City’s junior team.
He is the latest in a trend of British teenagers to move to the German league following England winger Jadon Sancho, who joined league leaders Borussia Dortmund in August 2017 from Man City, and Reiss Nelson, on loan from Arsenal at hoffenheim.
Schalke moved for Matondo with the transfer market closing on Thursday following injuries to midfielders Benjamin Stambouli (broken cheekbone) and Alessandro Schoepf (knee ligament tear), plus winger Steven Skrzybski (injured hamstring) in Friday’s 2-2 draw at Hertha Berlin.
Matondo will boost Schalke‘s attack, which is thin on options after injuries to Swiss striker Breel Embolo, Austrian forward Guido Burgstaller and now Skrzybski.
“We have been interested in Rabbi for a long time, because we are impressed with his potential,” said Schalke head coach Domenico Tedesco.
“He is extremely quick and technically strong.
“We can’t forget how young he is though – we will give him the time he needs to find his feet at Schalke and in the Bundesliga.”