Newcastle United have been regularly linked with a move for Salomon Rondon since the season ended.
West Brom’s relegation meaning the player is keen on a new club and the Baggies potentially looking to move on one of their biggest earners.
As for Newcastle’s interest, who knows?
Tuesday morning sees reports that say Rafa Benitez remains keen on the Venezuelan striker.
However, the Shields Gazette claims that their understanding is that ‘high wages and agent fees’ are very likely to price Newcastle United out of any deal.
To be honest, I don’t know whether Rondon is the right player for Newcastle, I have been quite impressed when I have seen him, but he looks to be in the category of hard working but won’t score a boatload of goals.
It doesn’t mean he isn’t a decent player but rather that it is unlikely that Newcastle would majorly solve their lack of goals, Salomon Rondon having scored nine, eight and seven goals in his three seasons at West Brom, despite starting at least 30 Premier League matches each of those seasons.
The striker has a £16.5m release clause in his contract, which is roughly how much West Brom paid Zenit for him in August 2015, and also what Zenit paid Rubin Kazan 18 months earlier.
So it sounds probably a fair price in this transfer market.
However, the Shields Gazette says that the associated extra cash for wages and agent fees makes the deal look all but impossible.
I am not being funny but if Newcastle are not prepared to put up that kind of package for a player of Rondon’s level, then you wonder just who we are capable of signing?
Pretty much any signing with any kind of half-decent CV will come with similar sized wages and agent fees, or higher.
Not only are Newcastle a club with a 13 year old club transfer record thanks to Mike Ashley refusing to allow proper investment in the squad, they are also one who could sell a player for £35m seven and a half years ago and still now find it an impossible idea of paying half that amount – especially after the transfer inflation year after year.
Plus we have seen £20m for Cabaye four and a half years ago, then £30m for Sissoko and £25m for Wijnaldum last summer.
The more you look at Newcastle United and this summer’s transfer window, the more it looks like an impossible puzzle for Rafa Benitez to solve.
Unless there is a major shift in how Mike Ashley allows his manager to operate, I can’t even see any ‘Salomon Rondons’ arriving at Newcastle United in the foreseeable future.
As for who we will get, if anybody, remains to be seen.