Rondon’s dream Newcastle transfer in doubt as Mike Ashley ‘has concerns over striker’s age’

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RAFA BENITEZ is losing his battle to keep on-loan striking hit Salomon Rondon as Newcastle owner Mike Ashley still wants younger signings.

Toon chief Benitez‘s transfer priority has been to turn West Brom star Rondon’s loan deal into a £16.5million permanent switch this summer.

Signing Salomon Rondon on a permanent deal has been a priority for boss Rafa Benitez - but Toon owner still has big reservations
Signing Salomon Rondon on a permanent deal has been a priority for boss Rafa Benitez – but Toon owner still has big reservations
Getty Images – Getty

But the Sunday Mirror say Benitez has failed to persuade Ashley that in-form Rondon – who will be 30 in September – is worth paying such a big sum for.

Everton are one of the clubs hovering over Rondon, who fired the opener in Venezuela’s 3-1 win over Argentina during Friday’s friendly in Madrid.

Rondon’s fee would rise, though, if his parent club win an instant return to the Premier League.

The former Zenit Saint Petersburg ace has hit nine goals and provided five assists this season as Newcastle have revived to a healthy 13th place.


And Benitez’s fight to keep him could even affect the manager’s own future as his contract runs out at the end of the campaign.

The ex-Liverpool and Real Madrid chief said of Rondon last month: “Everybody can see he is doing well.

“He is playing well, he is scoring goals, he is giving others the opportunity to go forward, he is doing a lot of good things.

“In terms of his attitude on the pitch, he is working really hard.”

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