Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has spoken of his desire to keep on loan West Brom striker Salomon Rondon at St James’ Park beyond the end of the season.
Rondon has been in impressive form in helping keep Newcastle in the Premier League this season, with his 10 goals and seven assists making him a popular figure on Tyneside, with the Venezuelan admitting a permanent move to the club is his preferred summer destination, even if it is out of his hands.
Benitez’ own future at St James’ Park beyond the end of the season is also uncertain, but the Spaniard admits he would like to keep Rondon at the club should he also remain with The Magpies.
Speaking about Rondon’s future to The Chronicle, Benitez said: “We know that he has been a really, really important player for us.
“It’s not just the goals that he has scored, also the assists and how he brings players into the game.
“He links with the others really well, holds the ball.
“There are a lot of positives, and we will see what happens.”
If West Brom are to be successfully promoted back to the Premier League via the play-offs, it is reported that any permanent deal for Rondon will cost Newcastle £20million, with the price set at £16.5million if The Baggies remain in the second tier.
You can’t blame Benitez for wanting to keep Rondon at the club.
The Venezuelan has been vital in keeping Newcastle in the Premier League this season, and it would be a huge boost to their ambitions of building on that survival next season if they can keep Rondon at the club.
You feel that spending such a fee on him would also be a huge boost to the mood around the club, given the historical scrutiny around the club’s spending.