Rondon links up with Benitez at China's Dalian Yifang

Reuters , Friday 19 Jul 2019

New Dalian Yifang manager Benitez worked with Rondon at Newcastle last season Reuters

Venezuela international forward Salomon Rondon has joined Chinese Super League outfit Dalian Yifang from West Bromwich Albion for an undisclosed fee, the English Championship (second tier) club said on Friday.

The move reunites 29-year-old with Dalian boss Rafa Benitez after the pair worked together at Premier League side Newcastle United last season where the forward was on loan.

"Today is the end of an incredible spell for me," Rondon, who joined West Brom in 2015, said in a statement on Twitter.

"During these past four seasons, I've seen my dreams come true, like scoring in some of the greatest stadiums ... or hearing some of the most loyal supporters chant my name.

"I'm beginning a challenge that really motivates me ... those who know me are aware I'm taking this step full of new objectives to achieve."

Rondon scored 11 league goals for Newcastle as they finished 13th, forming a strong partnership with Spaniard Ayoze Perez who also departed in the close season to join Leicester City.

Fan-favourite Benitez, 59, left St James' Park at the end of his contract last month after failing to agree an extension with club owner Mike Ashley.

He was named head coach of Dalian earlier this month.

Newcastle replaced him with former Sunderland and Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce on Wednesday, leaving a section of supporters unhappy with the decision.

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