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Benitez hopeful of making Rondon’s switch permanent in January

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez is hopeful of turning on-loan striker Salomon Rondon’s deal into a permanent one at the club.

The Venezuelan striker arrived at St James’ Park from West Brom in the summer on a season-long loan deal, which saw Dwight Gayle head to The Hawthorns for his own temporary switch.

The 29-year-old has provided the focal point for Benitez’s side so far this season, scoring four league goals, and with Gayle enjoying his own successful loan spell in The Championship, Benitez is keen to secure Rondon’s future on a permanent basis.

“It will be fine,” said Benitez after Rondon scored the winner against Huddersfield on Saturday.

“Hopefully he can start scoring a lot of goals, and then you can ask me this in a few weeks and hopefully it can be positive then, too. I am happy with him, but still he can improve. I think he is doing a great job for the team.”

Newcastle’s latest win sees them move up to 14th in the Premier League table.

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