Salomon Rondon remains Rafa Benitez’s No 1 Newcastle target

West Bromwich Albion's Salomon Rondon.
West Bromwich Albion's Salomon Rondon.

Salomon Rondon remains Rafa Benitez’s No 1 summer target – despite renewed links with Nicolai Jorgensen and Alassane Plea.

Rondon has a clause in his contract which means he can move for just £16.5million after West Bromwich Albion were relegated from the Premier League last season.

That represents good business for Benitez, given he is working on a limited budget and also wants to bring in winger Kenedy from Chelsea.

Danish striker Jorgensen is understood to be available this summer after Newcastle had a £15million bid for the player turned down by Feyernoord in January.

Nice frontman Plea, meanwhile, continues to be linked with the Magpies, with talk of a £20million bid for the 25-year-old.

Rondon, however, remains the preferred choice for Benitez. The Venezuelan scored 10 goals last season, but is 28, leaving Newcastle owner Mike Ashley unsure of the long-term viability of the signing.

That, coupled with doubts over Benitez’s future, has seen slow progress on any potential move for the player.

Talks over the Newcastle manager’s future have stalled, with the Spaniard having just a year left on his contract as he seeks reassurances over signings and transfer budgets from the Toon owner.

Benitez is looking to raise funds by selling Aleksandar Mitrovic to Fulham, Chancel Mbemba to Porto and Mikel Merino to Real Sociedad. Those three departures could fetch in almost £40million.

Newcastle have only added free agent Ki Sung-yeung to the squad that finished last season.

The other capture of the summer has been goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, who turned his loan move into a £4million permanent switch.