Schalke winger Rabbi Matondo has revealed that Liverpool were among the sides interested in him before his move to Manchester City in 2016.
Wales-born Matondo began his youth career with Cardiff but his talents were soon spotted, leading to a lucrative move to City’s academy in 2016.
As Matondo revealed to Goal, however, there were several other sides interested in his helping the youngster grow, but it was City’s pulling power that eventually swayed his decision.
“City were interested a year before I moved [from Cardiff]. Everyone in Cardiff knew about it,” the 19-year-old said.
“At the time I was not 100 per cent sure that I was ready to leave my home. Cardiff is my city.
“After my father and my agent had looked at the youth academy in Manchester, they were so enthusiastic that they told me I would be crazy if I didn’t take this opportunity.
Matondo initially joined City’s Under-18s side and was promoted a year later to the Under-23s, but two years in that more senior side failed to lead to a first-team appearance.
As such, the youngster left for the Bundesliga in January last year and he has since made 22 appearances for Schalke, scoring once.
Having made his debut for Wales in 2018, current coach Ryan Giggs has included him in each of his squads so far and reportedly told Manchester United of his potential.
The Red Devils are believed to have identified Matondo as a back-up option if they fail to sign Jadon Sancho this summer.
Sancho is expected to cost upwards of £90m and United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward admitted on Thursday that the shutdown of football over the past few months has led to one of the club’s toughest spells in its history.
According to the Manchester Evening News Matondo’s release clause stands at €60m, but United are sure they can get Matonda for less than that if they fail to get hold of Sancho this summer.