Salomon Rondon has admitted he would have liked to have signed for Newcastle United on a permanent basis.
The Venezuela international spent the 2018/19 season on loan at St. James’ Park from West Bromwich Albion, and became a big crowd favourite.
The star scored 12 goals for the club and had struck up a fine partnership with Ayoze Perez in attack.
He was trusted week-in week-out to lead the line by Rafa Benitez, and he did so to great effect.
Newcastle’s desire to sign him as their own player was frequently reported over the summer, but a move did not materialise with the player’s age seemingly working against him.
Mike Ashley is thought to prefer to sign younger players who have high potential sell-on value, meaning fans were forced to stomach losing Rondon, who is now back with Benitez at Dalian Yifang in China.
Rondon told todofichajes.com: “I would have continued in Newcastle if they had given me the opportunity, but I couldn’t.
“Now I am very happy in China. The league is quite different and the language is totally different, but it is a matter of adapting.”
It is the admission no Newcastle fan wanted to hear, and it will surely only serve to increase the level of hate towards Ashley.
The fact Rondon wanted to stay will be particularly hard to take given the struggles Steve Bruce’s side have had in terms of scoring goals.
Record signing Joelinton is still finding his feet in English football but has struggled, and Andy Carroll is currently only making cameo appearances.