Manchester City youngster Matondo completes move to Schalke

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Schalke have signed Wales winger Rabbi Matondo on a permanent deal from Manchester City.

The Bundesliga club have announced the 18-year-old has signed a four-and-a-half year contract after moving to the Veltins Arena for a reported £10million fee.

Matondo never made a first-team appearance for City but was regarded as one of their most promising academy players and was capped by Wales last autumn.

He is the latest highly-rated young player to leave City for opportunities abroad following Brahim Diaz, who joined Real Madrid earlier this month, and Jadon Sancho, who moved to Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

Matondo believes he is following in good footsteps by joining Schalke, who are currently 12th in the Bundesliga.

He told the club’s website: “I already knew something about Schalke before the offer – Mesut Ozil, Ivan Rakitic and Leroy Sane took important steps in their careers (here).

“There were very good discussions with the coach and my new team-mates had only good things to report.

“In addition, the Bundesliga is a great league. Schalke is the right choice for my footballing future and I’m looking forward to being part of the club and its plans for the future.”

Matondo was born in Liverpool but raised in south Wales. He joined City from Cardiff in 2016.

He represented Wales at youth levels and was handed his first senior cap as a substitute by Ryan Giggs in last November’s friendly defeat in Albania.

Schalke manager Domenico Tedesco said: “He is extremely fast and technically good, but we must not forget that he is still very young. That’s why we’ll give him the time he needs to get a grip on Schalke and the Bundesliga.”

Intriguingly, City play Schalke in the last 16 of the Champions League, with the first leg taking place in Germany on February 20.

Schalke’s interest in the player had largely gone unnoticed until earlier this week.

Sporting director Christian Heidel said: “We are glad that in the past few weeks we have been able to convince Rabbi in peace, and without much publicity, that a change to us is the right decision for him.”

City manager Pep Guardiola spoke about the potential deal earlier this week, stressing that yet more interest in a player from a leading European club can only reflect well on the academy.

He said: “I know how good he is, an incredibly fast winger and a young talent. That is a good signal of how good this club is working.”

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