Rondon upgrade: Newcastle eyeing Duvan Zapata

Newcastle are tracking Sampdoria goal machine Duvan Zapata, claims Lee Ryder of The Evening Chronicle.

What’s the story?

Well, according to Ryder, sources in Italy believe the Magpies have sent scouting missions to keep an eye on Zapata.

The 27 year-old has been on loan at Atalanta all season, bagging 22 goals in all competitions.

The report claims Atalanta have the chance to sign him permanently this summer, and will take that option before selling him on for a profit.

Italian papers quote his price at around £38m, says Ryder’s report, and there is also interest from West Ham, Roma and Inter Milan.

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Rondon but with more goals?

It’s fairly well documented that West Brom will expect around £16m for Salomon Rondon, so is Zapata worth over double that price?

Well, the five-cap Colombia international certainly tops Rondon when it comes to putting the ball in the net, grabbing 22 goals and 7 assists in 37 appearances this season.

Several of those goals came in a quite frankly ridiculous patch of form, when the 6 ft 2 front man grabbed 19 goals in the space of 15 games during November, December and January.

Where he stands out as opposed to other possible Rondon replacements though, assuming Mike Ashley opts not to spend £16m on a soon-to-be 30 year-old, is that Zapata knows what Benitez wants from a number nine.

The Colombian ace played under the Spaniard at Napoli, where he struck 15 goals and 5 assists in 54 games, despite very rarely getting to be the main man in the attack.

This understanding of Benitez’s expectations for a target man, along with the far superior goalscoring record to Rondon, would make Zapata an excellent choice for the Magpies to smash their transfer record for the second time this year.