Rafa Benitez is still hopeful of signing Salomon Rondon this summer – assuming he can reach agreement with Newcastle over his own contract.

But the fact that his extension talks are taking so long, has seen Newcastle fall behind some of their rivals when it comes to transfers.

According to reports, a deal for Rondon remains high on Rafa’s list of priorities, should he stay, and with the growing interest in the Venezuelan striker, he would have hoped that a deal could have been struck with West Brom early.

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In many ways, the Copa America is saving Newcastle’s blushes when it comes to Rondon’s signature.

With the tournament running from June 14 to July 3, it buys some time for Newcastle to get Rafa’s future sorted.

If signing Rondon is a major condition of any potential contract extension for Benitez, the club must act quickly to agree to it.

Length of Benitez talks is becoming laughable

The talks are on the verge of becoming farcical, with a lack of agreement – or information either way – being used by fans as another sign that Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley’s running of the football club is inept.

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Just like with the takeover speculation, there is an understandable need to keep things under wraps. But when the hype reaches a crescendo, or the veil of secrecy goes on too long, some sort of statement is essential.

Even if it is to calm fans’ fears,  and inform everyone that it is taking time, but talks are continuing.

It has an all too familiar feel to the Alan Shearer scenario a few years ago.

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He had hoped to stay on as manager, following relegation, only for him to hear nothing back from Ashley after inital conversations.

If Newcastle do a similar thing to Benitez, by just letting his contract run out, it will be insulting and contmptuous treatment of a man of his stature.

Of course, there is nothing to suggest they will do that, but a simple official statement would ease everyone’s worries.

But Newcastle United never seem to care about the thoughts and concerns of fans, or anyone but themselves.

The result is that the silence will continue and everyone will be left guessing, and hoping for the best.

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