Both Celtic and the Rangers have a need to strengthen their squad in the summer. The Hoops are headed back to the UEFA Champions League group stage after years and Ange Postecoglou must be keen to make an impression in Europe’s elite competition as well. On the other hand, the Ibrox side lost out to their Glasgow rivals in the Premiership this season and their dreams of winning the Europa League ended on penalties, with Aaron Ramsey missing the decisive spot kick.
Thus, it would not be much of a surprise if both clubs are active in the upcoming summer transfer window. But at the same time, it is not just about strengthening the first-team but the youth ranks as well.
Celtic have recently been dealt a huge blow in that department as Ben Doak is headed to Liverpool. While they seem to have identified a potential replacement, it looks like they will have to compete with the Rangers for his signature.
As reported by Wales Online, both Celtic and Rangers are monitoring the progress of Cardiff City’s 16-year-old winger, Japhet Matondo. Leeds United are believed to be also interested in the youngster.
Celtic, Rangers and Leeds United in race to sign Cardiff City winger
Matondo has already featured for Cardiff City’s under-23s side as well as the Wales under-17s team. Thus, it is safe to say that he is very highly rated.
Capable of playing on the left-wing as well as the right-wing, it is not hard to see why Celtic might view him as a potential replacement for Doak.
The belief is that Cardiff City are keen to hold on to Matondo and the teenager is likely to wait for a revised offer from the club before making a final decision regarding his future.
If Celtic are able to sign him, it is likely that he would start at the B-team level, with the aim of climbing up the ranks and finally breaking into the first-team picture in the not too distant future.
Celtic have had a very tough time when it comes to keeping hold of their most talented youth players in recent years, with many of them opting for moves to clubs like Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Manchester City and others before ever getting a taste of first-team football at Parkhead. Thus, signing someone as highly-rated as Matondo would be a major boost to their youth ranks.
This article was originally posted here