With just a week left to do business and it being reported that our long-winded attempt to sign Salomon Rondon has now ‘stalled’, it looks like Rafa Benitez may be forced to look at other options as far as a new striker is concerned.
A striker is a must so I do see one signing (even if our boards incompetence makes you have serious doubts), but the question is just how good will that one be? Will be pull a rabbit out the hat or will it be another bargain basement buy that strikes of desperation – see £5m Joselu signing this time last summer.
After bad news on the Rondon deal – with it also being claimed today that his £16.5m release clause has ‘expired’ – here’s three that are very likely to be on Rafa’s ‘radar’ should he decide to look elsewhere:
The Liverpool striker is someone Rafa tried to sign on loan in the final few days of last year’s summer transfer window and I can see him having another look this time around. He’s back at Anfield after a spell with Wolfsburg last season and more than likely to available on loan once again.
He’s a raw talent but has got into double figures in all competitions over his last two seasons with Liverpool, scoring 21 goals despite being a bit-part player in Jurgen Klopp’s side from 2015-2017. A permanent deal would no doubt be ‘too expensive’ (sigh), but I can see us asking about a loan deal for either him or Danny Ings.
A player Rafa thought he’d signed last summer, only for Swansea to hijack the deal at the 11th hour. A loan deal will not be possible (we already have Kenedy from Chelsea), however it’s been claimed by The Chronicle that Chelsea could cash in on him for around £15m.
It seems we’re reluctant to pay Rondon’s £16.5m release clause due to him nearing his 30’s, but a deal for Abraham would surely be seen as a very shrewd investment given his age and the potential. A sad state of affairs, but maybe Ashley would sanction this deal knowing he’d be worth MUCH more than £15m if he was to have a good season in the Premier League? – Not forgetting he’s a player Rafa clearly rates.
A player Benitez confirmed his interest in last summer and one that’s now available on the cheap – meaning this could be a deal right up Mike Ashley’s street.
He turns 30 this year so it doesn’t quite fit in with our buying policy, however Arsenal are believed to be letting him go for just £7m – less than half Rondon’s £16.5m release clause fee.
Perez can play up top or in the number 10 role so this would be a VERY shrewd deal and one we should be all over given A) our need for quality additions in attacking areas and B) the limited budget Benitez is working on.