With West Bromwich Albion’s summer transfer rumour mill already having linked former Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez with having a continued interest in striker Salomon Rondon, despite his switch to Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang, at the end of last week the rumours gained some ground.
The Express & Star reported on Friday that the Chinese club had now made a formal approach for the player, but there was some debate as to whether that ‘approach’ had actually triggered his believed £16.5million release fee, or was a punt to see if we’d deal at less.
The E&S claim that given the speculation so far from Newcastle, West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers, Yifang’s offer was higher than any English based side had submitted so far – which is at least something.
The question mark at this stage with their interest is although we knew Rondon wanted to stay at Newcastle and he enjoyed his time under Benitez, did he more enjoy the club/Premier League or Rafa.
From Albion’s point of view, with us not pursuing interest in Dwight Gayle and with us now having lost Jay Rodriguez on a pathetic deal, the sooner the sale goes through the better for head coach Slaven Bilic, because all parties know he’s off – 12 months left on his deal and he has no intention of returning.
Bilic is already quoted as saying.
“Salomon is probably going to go as well, hopefully that will finish quickly and we can activate the targets we’ve been working on for the last two and a half weeks.”