Salomon Rondon is poised to link up with former boss Rafa Benitez and sign for Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang.
Benitez, who joined the Chinese Super League club last month, is keen to be reunited with the Venezuela striker, who after Ayoze Perez was his top scorer for Newcastle last season with 11 Premier League goals in 32 appearances.
There were rumours early in July that Rondon would sign just a week after Benitez became Dalian Yifang’s new manager, but a fresh report from Sky Sports reporter Lyall Thomas suggests that a deal has been agreed between the Chinese side and Rondon’s parent club, West Bromwich Albion and that personal terms could be agreed within the next 48 hours.
The Championship side can’t afford to keep 29-year-old Rondon and are willing to strike a deal with Dalian whose financial power gives them an advantage over West Ham and manager-less Newcastle in signing the forward.
It’s a statement of intent by Rafa’s Yifang as they are thought to have beat West Ham to the signing of someone who’s proven that he can score goals in one of the most competitive leagues in the world.
For West Brom, it free’s up the wage bill and allows them to re-invest and recruit ahead of the new Championship season, a season which they will be once again trying to gain promotion to the Premier League after the appointment of new manager Slaven Bilic.
For Newcastle United, however, the club which Rondon played for last season, it’s just another blow as it was thought both Rondon and former manager Benitez would have returned for the 19/20 season.
Both Rondon and Benitez have left Newcastle, along with striker Joselu and top scorer Ayoze Perez, which leaves a cloud of doom and uncertainty hovering over St James’ Park and the possibility of another relegation battle.
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