Rafa Benitez has not given up hope that Salomón Rondón will sign for Newcastle United, following his hugely successful loan spell last season.
Rondón was named the official Newcastle player of the season, and is currently away with the Venezuela national team preparing for this summer’s Copa America.
When asked about Rondón, Benitez told the Chronicle: “He has been an important player and it’s exactly the same when I talked about my situation [future depends on his current employers].
“His situation depends on West Brom so we will see what happens with them.
“We will have time to talk about his future.”
It seems inconceivable to fans that Newcastle could let their star player from last season slip through their fingers.
With Rafa’s contract talks looking no closer to being resolved, and now takeover talk swamping all other news, the Magpies appear nowhere near making any signings.
Benitez sees Rondón as key to Newcastle’s immediate future
According to the report, Benitez has made signing Rondón a priority in his contract demands, but whether he will get his way, is another question.
But clearly, the Spaniard thinks highly of the Venezualan striker, and he sees him as an integral part of Newcastle’s immediate future.
As far as demands go, giving way to Rafa on that particular issue should be simple.
It is a much more realistic concession than spending time and money revamping the academy and training infrastructure, or allowing a massive transfer budget.
Regardless of the manager’s position, Lee Charnley should be making an approach to West Brom over signing Rondón. Even he and Ashley must see the influence he has had, and the positives of bringing him in on a permanent deal far outweigh the negatives.
It is time for action – on all fronts – and getting Rondón signed would be a good statement of intent going forward.