After last season’s heroics, Rafa Benitez and Newcastle fans are desperate to see Salomon Rondon make a permanent switch to Tyneside this summer.

But as is the Newcastle way, those in charge of making deals happen are on the verge of missing out because of their usual penny-pinching negotiating methods.

According to the Daily Star, West Brom are refusing to budge from their £16.5 million valuation, despite Lee Charnley trying to make them agree to around £12m.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

Of course, Newcastle have known for months what the terms of a deal would be. His Baggies contract has a release clause, which is set at £16.5m, as they failed to win promotion last season.

And with both Wolves and West Ham keen on the Venezuelan’s signature, there is little prospect of Albion having to settle for less than their current asking price.

(photo by Simon West/Action Plus via Getty Images)

So quite why Newcastle are trying to pay £4m less than the quoted amount is mind-boggling.

Charnley is always reluctant to meet a player’s asking price

It is the typical Lee Charnley tactic.

It is difficult to remember the last time the Magpies were linked with a player, quoted a fair price and just accepted that and paid it.

With his bizarre negotiating methods having paid off in the stand-off over Miguel Almiron, Charnley will now use that as proof his tough tactics work.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

But in the case of Rondon, Newcastle fans will see it as a feeble attempt to make it look like they are wanting to bring the striker back to St James’ Park, and when he signs for someone else, the club will insist they tried.

If that is meant to appease fans, it will fail. Fans are sceptical of the club’s desire to bring in a player who is outside their transfer parameters, and will see this as a sign that they do not really want to win the race for the striker.

Whether that will go down well with Benitez is another question. With Rondon likely to be a key demand in his contract negotiations, he can rightly question why the club – knowing the asking price already – did not simply match it and sign a player who is desperate to return.

Fans will be hoping it does not become a make or break issue on an extended Rafa stay.

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