Salomon Rondon in the dark over Newcastle United future as he awaits news on Rafa Benitez

The Venezuelan striker has been a big hit on loan at St James’ Park from West Brom and bagged his 11th goal of the season in Saturday evening’s 3-2 home defeat by Liverpool to further underline how important he has been to boss Rafael Benitez’s team.

Rondon is settled in Newcastle and is keen to stay but admits his future is up in the air as he waits to see whether Benitez will remain at the club next season.

The  29-year-old, whose belated arrival last summer was a source of intense frustration for his manager, said: “When I arrived here, I felt like I was at home. I’m settled here, my family’s happy here.

“It’s difficult to say something now because of the situation – we don’t know what will happen with Rafa.

“We have to wait and after that, if I stay, I just bring the same things: hard work, score goals and try to help the team.

“When I arrived here, Newcastle was the first choice, but you never know what happens in football. At the moment, I have to go back to West Brom and wait on whether West Brom get promoted or not.”

Rondon’s age is an issue for the Mike Ashley regime, which has traditionally been averse to investing in players who by virtue of their age, would have little or no sell-on value at the end of a contract.

In addition, it is understood the player would cost the Magpies £16.5million if the Baggies are not promoted via the Championship play-offs, but in excess of £20million if they are, while his form for the club this season is likely to have alerted alternative suitors.

Whatever happens, Rondon has enjoyed his time on Tyneside and if that does draw to a close with next Sunday’s final-day Premier League trip to Fulham, he will be grateful for the chance he has been given.

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