Rafa Benitez reveals what Salomon Rondon must do to earn permanent Newcastle move

Salomon Rondon.
Salomon Rondon.

Rafa Benitez is still keen to sign Salomon Rondon on a permanent deal at Newcastle United.

The on-loan striker scored his first two Premier League goals for the club on Saturday.

Rondon’s strikes gave the club a 2-1 win over Bournemouth at St James’s Park.

The result, United’s second successive victory, lifted the club out of the relegation zone.

Benitez had wanted to sign 29-year-old Rondon for £16.5million in the summer.

However, Benitez, told to sell to buy by owner Mike Ashley, didn’t have the funds to activate his release clause at West Bromwich Albion.

If he keeps scoring goals, Lee (Charnley, United’s managing director) will be looking at the terms of the contract and worrying about that.

Rafa Benitez

And Newcastle’s manager had to loan Dwight Gayle to the Championship club to secure Rondon in a swap deal.

Asked if he still wanted to sign Rondon on a permanent deal, Benitez said: “I have no idea about the terms of the contract, but if he keeps scoring two goals a game, of course.

“I don’t know the terms of the contract or when we discuss that.

“If he keeps scoring goals, Lee (Charnley, United’s managing director) will be looking at the terms of the contract and worrying about that.”

When Rondon’s release clause expired, it looked like Benitez would miss out on his No 1 target.

“He was the No 1 target because of the price,” said Benitez.

“I liked the player, I was in contact with his agent, working on the possibility.

“It was more difficult (when the clause expired), but when they were so interested in Dwight Gayle, we knew there was a possibility because we had the second striker with pace and mobility in (Yoshinori) Muto at the same time.

“It was a chance to get a second striker with experience of the Premier League.”

Asked if he would have preferred to have signed Rondon on a permanent deal, Benitez said: “Now is not the time to talk about that – just enjoy the goals he scored.”

Meanwhile, Gayle scored his ninth West Brom goal in the club’s 4-1 win over Leeds United on Saturday.