Salomon Rondon hails ‘amazing’ Newcastle ssupport and targets permanent transfer

Salomon Rondon on his Newcastle debut against Spurs.
Salomon Rondon on his Newcastle debut against Spurs.
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Salomon Rondon says he already feels at home at Newcastle United – and he’s desperate to earn a permanent move to the club.

Rondon joined from West Bromwich Albion earlier this month in a loan swap deal which saw Dwight Gayle head to The Hawthorns.

And the striker struck the crossbar after coming on for his debut in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at St James’s Park.

“It was really, really good,” said Rondon. “The welcome from the supporters inside the stadium was for me amazing and for my family.

“To have a welcome like that is important, and it already feels like home.”

United manager Rafa Benitez identified Rondon as a target months ago, but the club’s hierarchy were unwilling to pay his £16.5million release clause.

In the end, the club paid a £2million loan fee for Rondon, who is under contract at West Brom until 2020 after the Championship club took up an option of another year.

Rondon said: “Negotiations were difficult. I was just waiting. When I gave the answer that I wanted to come here, I was expecting it to happen, but it was difficult.”

Asked if he wanted the move to be made permanent next summer, Rondon said: “Yes, that’s my personal target.

“And the only way to do that, of course, is to score goals and train really, really hard to hold on to my place.

“I will try my best. I have just come here to do my best for the team, to score goals and stay here permanently.

“I know all about the amazing South American players who have been here – (Nolberto) Solano, Jonas Gutierrez – and how really well they did here.

“In my career, I have played in different leagues with different players, and I know this is the biggest move of my career. That’s why I want to stay here permanently.”