Danny Mills has revealed he is “not convinced” Newcastle United should go all out to convert Salomon Rondon’s loan into a permanent deal.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England right-back questioned those who believe it is a no-brainer for the north-east giants to pay the £16.5million release clause in his West Brom contract.
Rondon, 29, made a big impact for Rafael Benitez’s side, scoring 11 and creating seven goals from 32 Premier League games and was a key factor in the team’s strong finish to the campaign.
“I’m unconvinced,” Mills said. “He’s done an okay job. I’m not convinced he is the most outstanding striker for that type of level.
“Are there better strikers Newcastle can get across Europe within their budget? Probably, yes. They might have a ‘plan A’ striker target this summer and Rondon might be the ‘plan B’.
“You have to play a certain way to get the best out out of Rondon. He offers something, but I’m not sure he offers what you really need in the Premier League to play a technical-based game.”
Mills’ verdict is in stark contract with that of ex-Aston Villa striker Tony Cascarino, who has drooled over Rondon in recent months.
“In January last year, Alan Pardew persuaded West Bromwich Albion to turn down £38 million from China for Salomón Rondón,” Cascarino told the Times.
“If he keeps playing like this, he could be a £50 million striker. There hasn’t been a better signing this season, but he is only on loan at Newcastle. If they can make it permanent, they should, because he can be a Champions League player.”
The 72-times Venezuela international is almost certain to depart West Brom permanently this summer after they failed to return to the Premier League at the first attempt.
Wolves are also keeping close tabs on the front man as they look for a forward rival to recent club-record signing Raul Jimenez.
In other Newcastle United news, the club are set to start work on a £15million transfer after the green light is given.