Is this the stumbling block to a Newcastle move for Salomon Rondon?
As deals go, it should be an easy one to do. Pay Â£16.5million, agree personal terms and get the player. Easy.
Newcastle United know what it would cost to sign Salomon Rondon, who has a release clause in his contract at relegated West Bromwich Albion.
As it stands, Rafa Benitez – who is having to sell to buy in this summer’s transfer market – doesn’t have enough money, though that will change if, as expected, Aleksandar Mitrovic, is sold to Fulham for around £20million. However, the club would not get the full Mitrovic fee up front.
Mitrovic’s future will be resolved when he returns from his holidays, with the 23-year-old having been extra time off following Serbia’s World Cup campaign.
If Mitrovic is sold to Fulham, will Newcastle move for Rondon?
A loan enquiry for Rondon – who has a year left on his contract at The Hawthorns – was this week reportedly rejected out of hand by West Brom.
Rondon, a Venezuela international, would be a club-record signing for United, but will the club’s hierarchy trust Benitez’s judgement?
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The player – who scored seven Premier League goals last season – is 29, and Newcastle have been reluctant to spend money on players in their late 20s.
United have already signed two 29-year-olds so far this summer – former loanee Martin Dubravka and free agent Ki Sung-yueng – and there may be a reluctance to bring in a third.
Since Mike Ashley bought Newcastle more than a decade ago, the focus has been on signing players with a re-sale value.
And it’s hard to see Rondon, a hard-working player capable of slotting into Benitez’s system, being worth more money a couple of years from now.
But United need more goals from somewhere, and Benitez has done his homework on Rondon, signed from Zenit St Petersburg three years ago.
Will Benitez get his way?