By Joe Ellis

18th May, 2022 | 6:40pm

Leeds United want to sign Cardiff City starlet Japhet Matondo

Leeds United are keeping tabs on Cardiff City’s 16-year-old winger Japhet Matondo with a summer move potentially on the cards.

According to Football Scotland, the Whites want to keep a close eye on his development before making a move but they could be beaten to the punch by Celtic who are the other side in the race for his signature.

Leeds only made one signing in January, that of teenage striker Mateo Joseph Fernandez, and they are reaffirming their intent on bolstering the academy with Matondo, the brighter of Cercle Brugge attacker Rabbi.

Celtic would only need to pay £130,000 in compensation due to the laws in place in Scotland but the Whites would have to fork out much more if they were to sign the teenager.

He’s already played for the Bluebirds’ Under-23s side and made his debut for Wales Under-17s with his ability to play on both the left and right flanks equally efficiently.

No harm

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Even though we would have to pay more than the £130,000 the Hoops require to pay, it still won’t be a bank-breaking sum that Victor Orta will have to part with and if they can get a deal done, there doesn’t appear to be a reason why not.

He won’t emerge into the first team for some time, understandably so, but the worst scenario that could transpire would be if he isn’t quite as good as we hope and he just gets released or sold a couple of years down the line.

No harm will come of that as it won’t be an extortionate amount of cash being lost and with other sales coming in, you won’t even notice that kind of loss.

Jesse Marsch might not have much of a say in signing Matondo if they do it, but he should be very grateful if he does become a Leeds United player because his ceiling is very high and if it goes well, the club could get a big payday later down the line.

In other Leeds United news, one of the club’s academy graduates could “triple his wages” if he chooses to move to a Premier League rival this summer.