Former Newcastle striker Salomon Rondon has sent a message to Magpies fans, claiming he would have signed a permanent deal at St. James' Park in 2018 had he been given the option.
The Venezuelan was in inspired form for most of the 2018/19 season during his loan from West Bromwich Albion. Rondon scored 12 goals in all competitions, striking up a very efficient partnership with Ayoze Perez, who has since moved on to Leicester in a deal worth around £30m.
It is believed that there was an option to buy written into Rondon's loan contract which was not pursued by the club, much to the dismay of the supporters and then-manager Rafa Benitez.
Instead, Rondon and Benitez would move to the Far East, where they currently work together at Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang.
The departure of their star striker and manager was a bitter pill to swallow for the Toon faithful, and In an interview with The Athletic, Rondon has expressed his disappointment at the club's decision to not take him on permanently.
“It’s about decisions and it wasn’t my decision. If I could turn back time, I would do it 100 %, I would be there,” he said.
As well as his impressive goalscoring for Newcastle, Rondon also assisted seven goals in the league that season, and was the focal point of Newcastle's direct style of play.
Following his successful stint on Tyneside, Rondon has spoken with exceptional fondness about his time in the north east. He continued: “To be honest, that season was the best I’ve ever had. Not just because I scored goals, but because everything around me was so right, from the school of my children, to the city, the people, my family being happy.
“If Newcastle had offered me a deal, if they’d said ‘do you want to stay here?’, then of course I would have stayed.
“The fans push you. If the ball is flying towards the line, you have to run, try to take it and play. That’s my nature. Everything for me there was really fantastic. I just felt, ‘this is my place’.”
The aforementioned clause within Rondon's contract could have seen Mike Ashley secure the powerful front man's signature for a reported £16.5m - a figure most fan's were willing to see parted with.
Following his departure however, Newcastle have purchased three strikers in the form of Callum Wilson, the returning Andy Carroll and record signing Joelinton, who arrived in a £40m deal from Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim in 2019. He has since netted just two goals in 45 appearances for the club.