Newcastle United eye up Salomon Rondon’s £16.5m release clause
Newcastle United are contemplating triggering Salomon Rondon’s £16.5million relegation release clause.
Rafa Benitez has reportedly joined the scrap for the Venezuelan’s signature, with West Ham also interested.
According to the Northern Echo, Benitez wants Rondon to replace Islam Slimani as the club’s targetman following the Algerian's disastrous loan spell from Leicester.
It appears Rondon could have a couple of Premier League options to choose from this summer.
New Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini coached Rondon at Malaga, and is believed to be keen on a reunion.
Rondon only has one year left on his contract, and his release clause has an immediate impact on the future of fellow Albion forward Jay Rodriguez.
Burnley are keen to resign Rodriguez, who came through the youth ranks of his hometown club, and are preparing a bid for the 28-year-old.
But the Clarets have been told to wait and see whether anyone matches Rondon’s fee.
Albion do not wish to sell Rodriguez, who was top scorer last season after joining from Southampton for £12m.
He has three years left on his contract, leaving the Baggies in a strong negotiating position.
It would take a bid north of £20m to get Albion interested, but their stance would harden further if Rondon was taken off them.
Losing both would leave the Baggies dangerously light up front because Hal Robson-Kanu is the only other recognised striker in the senior squad.
While head coach Darren Moore and chief executive Mark Jenkins are aware there will be trading this summer, they are keen to keep the nucleus of the squad together to mount a promotion charge.
They cannot stop Rondon leaving should West Ham or Newcastle meet the clause, but they will do their best to keep Rodriguez.
Moore needs to sign at least one striker this summer and he is interested in Bristol City’s versatile forward Bobby Reid after his stellar season in the Championship.
However, the Robins want north of £10m for the 25-year-old and sources in Bristol claim they will refuse to budge on that figure.
Reid only has one year left on his contract, and is ready to leave City this summer after refusing to sign a new deal.