GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany — Struggling Schalke has signed young Wales winger Rabbi Matondo from Manchester City in a bid to boost its attacking options.
The Bundesliga club said Wednesday the 18-year-old Matonto signed a contract through June 2023 and will wear the No. 14 shirt. Both clubs agreed not to divulge the transfer fee, but Kicker magazine reported that Schalke was paying 9 million euros ($10.3 million) for the player and that City has the option to buy him back for a fee of 50 million euros ($57.1 million).
Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel says "we’re happy that we could convince Rabbi, in peace and without much attention, that a switch to us is the right decision for him."
The Liverpool-born Matonto, who made his one and only appearance for Wales in a friendly against Albania in November, failed to break through to City’s senior squad despite praise from coach Pep Guardiola. He joined from Cardiff City’s youth setup in 2016.
Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco says "we worked for a very long time on Rabbi (his transfer) because we’re so convinced of his potential. He is extremely quick and technically good."
Tedesco adds: "We should also not forget that he’s still very young. That’s why we’ll give him the time that he needs to settle at Schalke and in the Bundesliga."
Schalke is hoping Matonto has a similar impact that English winger Jadon Sancho has had at rival Borussia Dortmund. The 18-year-old Sancho, who also joined from Man City, has six goals and 11 assists in 19 league appearances for Dortmund this season.