Despite a slow start this summer, Rangers have stepped up the chase for an array of transfer targets. They have tied down Antonio Colak and Tom Lawrence on permanent terms and if a report from Sky Sports is believed to be true, the Gers are now closing in on Rabbi Matondo after scouting him for months.
While it is still unclear whether it would be a loan deal or a permanent transfer, the Light Blues are leading the race over Ligue 1 duo Brest and Lorient who are also keeping close tabs on the Schalke winger.
The Wales international progressed through the youth ranks of Cardiff and Manchester City before being roped in by the Royal Blues for a fee of up to £11m back in January 2019. He was deployed sporadically by the Bundesliga side but was eventually loaned out to Stoke City last year for regular gametime. Although he failed to leave an impact in the Potters’ colours, a season-long loan to Belgium earned him attention throughout the 2021-22 term. He had a 10-goal campaign with Cercle Brugge, however, the Belgian top-flight outfit opted out from a permanent swoop for a minuscule £3m figure.
Meanwhile, it is unlikely to be a loan deal considering his Schalke contract is set to expire next summer. The Germans won’t let him part ways for free given the amount they paid to secure his services, also the growing interest from Europe should see them recovering a chunk of the investment.
The arrival of Colak and Lawrence would bolster the Gers in the attacking third. Colak has been brought in to challenge and cover Alfredo Morelos in the ‘number 9’ role whereas Lawrence, the former Derby County skipper, should compete for a place with Ryan Kent down the left-hand flank. Giovanni van Bronckhorst is sweating over the future of both Kent and Morelos and the newly recruited pair might eventually replace them high up the pitch in case Rangers fail to keep hold of their prized assets beyond the summer of 2023.
Why Is It A Smart Move From Rangers
Matondo is most effective from the right, a spot the Gers require attention amid Ianis Hagi’s long-term injury concern. Amad Diallo failed to impress enough on loan from Manchester United and the gaffer’s call of deploying Aaron Ramsey and Scott Arfield as the makeshifts did not work too well.
Versatile Joe Aribo has been an option, however, his potential departure would further jeopardize Rangers unless they find able alternatives within the next few weeks. The signing of the Schalke youngster is a much-needed move as we might witness a brand new frontline comprising Lawrence, Colak and Matondo in the forthcoming future.