Former Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez wants Salomon Rondon to become his first signing as Dalian Yifang manager, according to The Times.

Benitez recently left his post at Newcastle to take over with Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang. And he wants Rondon to join him in the Far East.

West Ham are in the hunt for Rondon and he has become one of the top striker targets for Mario Husillos. But Dalian Yifang are reportedly closing in on this signing.

The Venezuela striker is close to agreeing on personal terms ahead of his move to China. Backed by China’s fourth-richest billionaire, Dalian Yifang will not struggle to finance this move.

West Ham want Salomon Rondon

(Photo by Leila Coker/ MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Rondon has been strongly linked with a move to West Ham in recent weeks. According to The Mirror, West Ham are ready to launch a second bid for Rondon after their first approach was rejected.

 

The 29-year-old has become a priority with Marko Arnautovic looking to leave again. Pellegrini wants to sign Rondon and has offered cash plus Sam Byram and Jordan Hugill to West Bromwich Albion.

But the Baggies, now led by Slaven Bilic, are not interested in Hugill so West Ham have offered more money. Dalian Yifang, however, are reportedly ready to offer £16m for Rondon which matches his buy-out clause.

Salomon Rondon is Rafa Benitez’s man

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Last season, Rondon joined Newcastle on loan. He quickly became a hit at St James’ Park and was a key part of Benitez’s plans as he guided them to survival.

Rondon scored 12 goals for the Magpies but he formed a deadly partnership with Ayoze Perez. The powerful striker was a target man who provided a presence up top, winning everything in the air, holding the ball up well and scoring goals too.

Newcastle’s hopes of re-signing Rondon appear to be over after Benitez’s departure. Initially, West Ham were favourites. But now, Dalian Yifang appear ready to win the race for Rondon.

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