Zinedine Zidane has “given the go-ahead” for Real Madrid to join the race for Schalke winger Rabbi Matondo, according to reports.
Matondo, who moved to the Bundesliga from Manchester City’s academy last January, has made nine German top flight starts this season.
Reports have emerged that Manchester United will target a move for the 19-year-old – who has a €60million release clause – if their attempts to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund fail.
However, according to Diario Madridista, Matondo has become the latest in a long line of emerging talents that Madrid president Florentino Perez is keeping an eye on.
The source says that Matondo’s progress has “not gone unnoticed” and the club’s scouting network are well aware of his talents.
And while scouts have also warned that the youngster will need game time, they are convinced that – among other traits – his speed will make him a perfect fit for Zidane’s side.
The report also claims that Zidane originally wanted to bring Matondo to the club’s reserve team and let him develop from there, but given that he has become a star for Schalke, that option is no longer on the table.
Instead, Zidane will bide his time and, if the chance arises, Madrid will make a formal approach for the Wales international.
Matondo has spoken out on the speculation over his future but insisted that while he would “never say never” to a move back to the Premier League, he is firmly focused on Schalke.
“Obviously there are people talking, asking me and stuff but I am not really thinking about it,” he said.
“I am concentrating on Schalke. I still have to achieve my goals for Schalke. I am just concentrating on that and we just see how things go, but for now I am just focused on Schalke.
“Hopefully I can get into the team and help them climb up the table.”