As per a report from Sky Sports, former Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is set to reunite with Salomon Rondon in China imminently.
Newcastle and Benitez part ways
Confirmation of Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle exit arrived three weeks ago.
Following 3 hugely-successful years at the helm at St. James’ Park, the Magpies announced that the Spanish tactician would depart the club on the 30th of June, following the expiration of his contract.
The Geordie outfit cited an impasse in negotiations over a new deal as the reasoning behind Benitez moving on:
‘We have worked hard to extend Rafa’s contract over a significant period of time, however it has not been – and will not be – possible to reach an agreement with Rafa and his representatives.’
It is with disappointment that we announce manager Rafael Benítez will leave Newcastle United upon the expiry of his contract on 30th June 2019.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) June 24, 2019
New Dalian boss
And, on the back of his Newcastle agreement officially expiring a fortnight ago, it didn’t take Benitez long to find a new job.
Taking to social media, the 59-year-old confirmed that he had opted to make the move to China, taking over at CSL outfit Dalian Yifang:
— Rafa Benitez Web (@rafabenitezweb) July 2, 2019
Rondon to follow Benitez
And, as per the aforementioned report from Sky Sports this evening, Benitez’s first signing as Dalian boss is set to come in the form of one of his star men at St. James’ Park.
The player in question is Salomon Rondon.
Venezuelan hitman Rondon spent last season on loan with Newcastle from West Bromwich Albion.
And, under the guidance of Benitez, the 29-year-old went on to enjoy the most prolific campaign of his English career.
All told, Rondon notched 11 goals and 7 assists across 32 Premier League appearances.
Newcastle’s failure to make the South American’s move permanent this summer, though, looks set to result in Rondon plying his trade with yet another new club this coming season.
According to Keith Downie of Sky (via Lyall Thomas), Rafa Benitez’s Dalian have clinched a deal with West Brom over Rondon’s signing:
Salomon Rondon is set to be reunited with Rafa Benitez after Dalian Yifang agreed a deal with West Brom for the striker, according to @SkySportsLyall. Rondon now talking personal terms.
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) July 15, 2019