Rafa Benitez reveals 'problem' for Newcastle United in summer Salomon Rondon move
Salomon Rondon has told Rafa Benitez that he wants to stay at Newcastle United.
The on-loan striker was on target in yesterday’s 4-0 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Rondon’s 90th-minute strike took his Premier League goal tally for the season to 11.
The 29-year-old will now briefly return to West Bromwich Albion, his parent club, though he is not eligible to play in the play-off finals, before having a short break ahead of Venezuela’s Copa America campaign.
Asked about Rondon’s performance, Benitez said: “His 10 goals was his best score mark in the Premier League – and today another one.
“He’s really happy, and a key player for us.
“The way that he was playing for us, linking with other players and scoring goals, I think he has been a very important player for us.
“It’s something everyone can see. Maybe everyone can see it, because he was made player of the year.
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“I think he wants to stay. The problem is, because he was so good, the more people have been watching him, so we have to wait.”
Benitez had to sign Rondon on loan – United’s Dwight Gayle went the other way as part of the same deal – after the club’s hierarchy refused to trigger his £16.5million release clause because of his age.
And Rondon’s future will come up in the proposed end-of-season meeting between Benitez, out of contract on June 30, and owner Mike Ashley.
Meanwhile, Rondon spoke about his future at the club after scoring in Newcastle’s 3-2 defeat to Liverpool earlier this month.
Asked if he had played his last game at St James’s Park for the club, Rondon said: “I can’t answer that question, because you never know what happens in football.
“Yes, maybe it’s my last game here. That would be a shame for my family, because they’re settled here.
“But this is football, sometimes it happens, sometimes you have to decide. It’s out of my hands, and I’ll have to wait.”