Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley are set for a summer collision course over making loanee Salomon Rondon’s deal permanent, according to the Daily Mirror.
They report that Benitez feels the best way to boost his squad – especially in light of low recent investment from Ashley – is with experience.
But Ashley apparently wants the Spaniard to get on board with a policy of spending his money on younger players, whose value is more likely to increase.
That appears to be the condition upon which Ashley will open his chequebook this summer to fund more signings in the style of Miguel Almiron, who has had a sensational impact on the club.
That is where Rondon comes in. The Mirror report that the experienced striker has a £16.5m release clause, which Ashley is reluctant to pay for a 29-year-old given his lack of resale value.
Of course that’s going to frustrate the fanbase – who have grown to love Rondon this season – but what if there were a more prolific, younger forward out there available for similar money?
Alfredo Morelos may have just signed a new contract at Rangers but the reported £19.7m (Sky Sports) Celtic got for Moussa Dembele last summer gives an idea of the going rate for the very top strikers in Scotland.
Morelos has 28 goals this season and has been electric for the Gers. Rondon runs the channels well but there’s no doubt Newcastle would benefit from a more prolific frontman – and if he is available for similar money to Rondon, it might be worth Benitez following Ashley’s wishes and going for the younger man.