Celtic: £3.5m forward could be ‘surprise X-Factor’ at Parkhead

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou giving the thumbs up

Celtic target Rabbi Matondo could be a ‘surprise X-Factor’ for Ange Postecoglou’s side next season, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The 21-year-old is attracting a lot of attention after enjoying a successful season-long loan spell away from parent club Schalke last term and could secure a switch to Parkhead.

What is the latest news involving Matondo?

Matondo revived his stuttering career with Belgian outfit Cercle Bruges during 2021/22, but German outlet Bild have revealed they cannot afford to pay their €3.5 million (£3m) option-to-buy clause.

That has reportedly sparked a race for the Wales international’s signature amongst several clubs from across the continent.

Celtic are said to be joined by fierce rivals Rangers, Premier League trio Brentford, Leeds United and newly-promoted Nottingham Forest while Ligue 1 outfits RC Lens, Stade Brest and ESTAC Troyes are also said to be in contention.

Due to the demand for Matondo, Schalke have now raised their asking price to €4m (£3.5m) and are eager to use the proceeds from his sale to rebuild their first-team squad.

What has O’Rourke said about Matondo?

O’Rourke believes Matondo could give the Hoops ‘a different option in attack’ due to his versatility and reckons he may prove to be an astute acquisition.

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He told GiveMeSport: “I’m sure it’s somebody that Celtic might think could give them a different option in attack ahead of next season, and I think he’d be relatively cheap as well.

“So, I think Matondo could be somebody who might be a surprise X-Factor for Ange Postecoglou going forward as he can play in several positions across the front line.”

Would Matondo be a good signing?

Schalke hoped they would be signing their own Jadon Sancho when they prised Matondo away from Manchester City back in January 2019, yet it didn’t quite go to plan for the pacey winger.

The 5 foot 9 ace found the back of the net on just two occasions for Die Königsblauen in 31 appearances and was unable to make an impact on loan at Stoke City in the second half of 2020/21, scoring once in 11 outings.

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However, Matondo’s fortunes changed last season when he racked up 12 goal contributions in 27 games for Cercle Bruges, helping them to a midtable finish.

If Postecoglou can win the race for the attacker’s signature, then Celtic could have another exciting, young forward option full of promise to call upon when things get back underway in August.

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