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Rafa Benitez hails player of the season Salomon Rondon as contract extension talks rumble on; The Newcastle United boss has made signing Rondon a priority in his contract discussions.

Byline: Lee Ryder

Rafa Benitez has described Salomon Rondon as an "important player" for Newcastle United following a fantastic loan spell on Tyneside.

Rondon is now a West Bromwich Albion player again, butBenitezhas made him a key part of his plans going forward and wants him to remain on board next season if he stays on as boss.

Rondon also won the club's official player of the season award at St James' Park.

The Venezuela international scored 12 goals and made seven assists in 33 games forthe Magpies, and when asked about his contributions, Benitez told the Chronicle: "I was really pleased for him and for us.

"It's congratulations to him because he did so well.

"He helped the team to stay up.

"He has been an important player and it's exactly the same when I talked about my situation (his future depends on his current employers).

"His situation depends on West Brom so we will see what happens with them.

"We will have time to talk about his future."

Meanwhile,Dwight Gaylehas been linked with newly-promoted Norwich City.

Reports in East Anglia have suggested the Canaries are keen to add some experience to their frontline.

But Gayle - who is no longer a target of West Brom - is scheduled to return to Newcastle on July 4.

Newcastle United takeover: Mike Ashley remains open to selling Magpies but Bin Zayed Group urged to make their move

Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan contacts the Chronicle to declare interest in buying Newcastle United and confirm talks

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Credit: Getty Images

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez (left) and Salomon Rondon

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Chronicle (Newscastle upon Tyne, England)
Date:May 30, 2019
Words:268
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