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West Brom want ‘sweetener’ if Newcastle United are to buy Salomon Rondon – Report

2 years ago
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Salomon Rondon has quickly become a popular figure on Tyneside.

Newcastle fans left wondering just how much better a position the team could have been in, if Mike Ashley hadn’t delayed the deal.

The usual ridiculous trying to ‘save’ money, in actual fact potentially doing the exact opposite.

A few quid might have been saved on the loan arrangement with Dwight Gayle going the other way – but it meant Salomon Rondon had absolutely no pre-season with Newcastle and arrived unfit just as the season kicked off.

The first six Premier League appearances saw the Venezuelan fail to score a single goal and in these last six, he has scored four, with seemingly the promise of more to come – despite the lack of service Newcastle’s creatively-challenged supply line can produce.

Down at West Brom, things have worked out as well, Dwight Gayle scoring 10 Championship goals already in 14 starts and a handful of sub appearances.

With two weeks until the January transfer window, Rafa Benitez has been asked once again about signing Salomon Rondon on a permanent deal:

“It will be fine.

“Hopefully he can start scoring a lot of goals, then you can ask me this (again) in a few weeks and hopefully it can be positive then too.

“I’m happy with him but still he can improve.

“I think he’s doing a great job for the team but we maybe have to support him a little bit more.

“If he has more support and if he has more crosses and passes into him, he will score more goals.

“Anyone can do it if you give them more assists…

“But I think with Salomon, if the team puts the ball in the right position then he will also be on the end of the crosses, or at the end of the passes.”

When asked about how the transfer planning for January is going, worryingly the manager replied that no targets are yet being pursued because as yet he still has no idea of what budget, if any, he will have to spend.

The previous two transfer windows saw Mike Ashley block any players at all coming in, in January 2017, then January 2018 with Newcastle deep in relegation trouble, Rafa was only allowed three loan deals.

The talk of Newcastle paying £25m for Miguel Almiron looks like pure fantasy at the minute, as indeed does any other sizeable transfer fee.

Realistically, the most likely way for Newcastle to strengthen in January looks via the loan route yet again.

However, as it stands, they are up to the maximum two (Rondon and Kenedy) loans from other Premier League clubs that are allowed, so only loans from abroad are open to them – which carry a far higher risk with players who haven’t played in the PL previously.

A permanent Rondon/Gayle swap deal has been previously talked about and that looks increasingly attractive from a fan perspective and indeed Rafa’s surely.

If a deal is done in January, it would then free up a space for Rafa to loan another player from a Premier League club.

However, the Express and Star report that their understanding is that West Brom are happy for a deal to potentially happen, but would demand a ‘sweetener’ on top.

For the year loan swap, West Brom received an extra £2m, and surely any cash for a permanent deal to happen would be no more than £5m or so, if Gayle was part of the arrangement.

Salomon Rondon only scored nine, eight and seven goals in his three PL seasons at West Brom, but the way he is now playing, and scoring, he looks well capable of getting at least double figures for the first time.

As Rafa Benitez outlined above, the big thing for any striker is the supply line and bringing in a player or two in January who can do that, plus a value for money Rondon/Gayle swap deal, is very likely the best possible we can hope for, unless something significantly changes with Mike Ashley’s position.

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