Lee Charnley has broken the club’s silence on a potential summer deal for Salomon Rondon, refusing to rule out a permanent deal for the striker but insisting that any move would have to ‘suit all parties’.
While Newcastle’s stance on the matter remains unclear, it’s been reported that the Venezuelan will be available at a release clause fee of £16.5m IF West Brom fail to earn promotion, with that fee set to rise ‘beyond £20m’ should the Baggies seal an immediate return to the top flight via the play-offs.
Here’s what the club’s managing director has had to say about a potential permanent deal for the 29-year-old this summer, with Charnley giving pretty mixed messages regarding Rafa’s hopes of getting his man:
“Have we said we won’t attempt to sign Salomon Rondon in the summer?
“Firstly, he’s not our player so he will go back to West Brom and both he and his club will then decide on his future.
“Having said that, we haven’t ruled out trying to sign him but any deal would have to suit all parties.”
Only at Newcastle could you get someone saying ‘we haven’t ruled out trying to sign him’ when he wants to come, Rafa wants to sign him and the whole of St James’ Park are keen to keep him beyond this season – and rightly so after an outstanding campaign up top.
Charnley’s response sounds a little cagey to me, with his comments making me fear that any deal must be done on our terms – something that should come as no surprise given Ashley’s reluctance to spend on any player over the age of 26/27.
Yes he turns 30 later this year, but he’s shown no signs of ageing or being on the decline, with his tally of 10 goals and 6 assists making him our joint top scorer and our top creator in the league – a tally that gives him every chance of winning our player of the season prize (and that’s forgetting the presence, work rate and hold up play he offers week in week out).
If West Brom get promoted and start asking silly money then I can understand why there’d be issues with his deal, but failure to do so would mean he’s ours for £16.5m – a deal we’d be absolutely mad to ignore given his influence this season.