According to a pretty bold exclusive from TEAMtalk last night, Newcastle looks set to tie up a deal for Salomon Rondon over the ‘next week’, having asked West Brom if they can pay an initial £4m loan fee with an option to sign him for £15m this time next year.
Presuming this is true – which is highly debatable – this is quite alarming and perhaps shows just how limited Rafa Benitez’s budget is at present.
Rondon has a £16.5m release clause. It’s not cheap for a striker that’s averaged just 8 goals a season across his three years in the Premier League, but it’s also not that expensive when it comes to strikers in this day and age. After all, £16.5m is probably the new £8m when you see what fees average Premier League players are costing in this day and age.
I’d imagine that Mike Ashley is slightly reluctant to pay the release clause – plus the inevitable agent/signing on fees and wages that would come with the deal – for a player nearing his 30’s who’s yet to convince in front of goal at this level, but it says a lot about our ability to spend big this summer if he’s not willing to sanction a £16.5m transfer for a player Benitez believes will do the job.
Maybe, just maybe, a loan with an option to buy next summer is being pursued to free up some more money to be spent on signings elsewhere over the coming weeks – with Rafa confirming his with to sign ‘two or three’ attackers and defensive cover over the weekend – however I still can’t see the logic in us paying a £4m loan fee now and a £15m fee next summer when we could have him for £16.5m now.
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) July 16, 2018
One possible theory is that Ashley knows he still wants out at NUFC, so if the sale of the club was to be miraculously agreed between now and next summer, his outlay will only be £4m on Rondon (the loan fee) instead of the £16.5m he’d otherwise incur for activating the release clause now – leaving potential new owners to consider whether they want to pay the extra £15m this time next year.
It’s all hypothetical stuff centred around a rumour which may actually carry no truth at all, but if it is true then I worry even more so about the budget at Benitez’s disposal.
Just £4m has been spent so far, we were unable to agree anything permanent for Kenedy, we’ve made so few cash bids and it seems like every potential signing if being considered on loan – with us even trying to wangle a way out of paying a run of the mill release clause for Rafa’s alleged top target.
24 days left to go and still four or five signings expected by Benitez.
I’m holding onto the hope that this £50m Premier League payment (due this week) provides Benitez’s budget with the boost it’s been waiting for and that certain player sales start to pick up (Mitrovic/Mbemba/Sels/Saivet/Colback) as, right now, our hopes of getting the necessary deals done before August 9th feel bleak at best.