West Brom have reportedly named their price for Newcastle to sign Salomon Rondon permanently this summer, and the Magpies have a couple of tricks up their sleeve that will work in their favour.
According to The Northern Echo, the Baggies have slapped a £16m price tag on Rondon, who has been on loan at Newcastle since last summer.
The powerful Venezuelan international swapped the Hawthorns for St. James’ Park in a deal that saw Dwight Gayle move the other way.
The deal has worked out well for both parties, with Gayle once again proving his worth in the Championship with 16 goals, while Rondon has been a huge hit on Tyneside with both the fans and the manager.
According to the report, the Baggies will look to sell Rondon and are hoping for a bidding war, but the success of both Gayle and Jacob Murphy on loan at the Midlands outfit might just give the Magpies the upper hand.
After an injury delayed his campaign somewhat, Rondon has now scored six league goals and added three assists this season, and he is also winning a whopping 4.7 aerial duels per game.
The 29 year-old is by no means the most technically gifted striker in the league, but he has certainly shown he is far more than just a target man.
In fact, you could even argue that the striker is Newcastle’s most important creator as well as goalscorer given how often he initiates attacks by holding up the ball and finding a positive pass, though that may change when Miguel Almiron gets up to speed.
Rafael Benitez is clearly very fond of the striker, and he should definitely pull the trigger if he gets the go-ahead from Mike Ashley.
Of course, getting the green light from Ashley is always the major sticking point on Tyneside, but the club does have two aces up their sleeve in Gayle and Murphy.
If West Brom do not get promoted, the pair’s Championship experience and current form should surely tempt them to negotiate a swap deal for Rondon, which would see the Venezuelan’s fee greatly reduced, if not erased completely.
£16m is a lot of money for a player who will turn 30 at the beginning of next season, but the club can play a blinder by using two players who simply aren’t up to the Premier League standard.