Northern Echo reported a few days ago that we will now resume talks with West Brom over a permanent deal for Salomon Rondon – a move that would free up another loan slot, but suggest a real change of approach from a certain Mike Ashley.
Rondon turns 30 next year, however it’s been apparent for a number of years that Ashley has a “26 and under” policy – with him often seeing players as investments with real sell on value.
It was clear over the summer that we had every opportunity to sign the Venezuelan at his £16m release following West Brom’s relegation, but it was predictably reported that Ashley was reluctant to spend big on a player approaching the twilight years of his career – despite Rafa’s plea for experienced Premier League players.
As you know, Rondon arrived on loan, however it is now reported that Mike will sanction a deal to sign Rondon permanently in January. We have seen a slight change in that approach over the past year or so with signings like Daryl Murphy, and Jesus Gamez, but these budget deals are not comparable to Rondon – who will no doubt cost in excess of £10-12m.
Ashley has attended the past few Premier League games and although he is not a football man as such, Rondon’s performance against Bournemouth may have made the owner realise just what he is capable of – with many describing the display as one of the most complete centre forward displays we’ve seen from a striker at St James’ Park in the last few years.
It is unclear how much Rondon would cost, however you would think West Brom would like any permanent deal to see Gayle go the other way.
Ashley seemed reluctant to sign Rondon permanently over the summer for £16.5m, but this reported change in stance on the striker could be a positive sign for the upcoming window..but we wont hold our breath!