Salomon Rondon has been reunited with Rafael Benitez after completing his move from West Brom to Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang.
The Venezuela international previously played under Benitez during a successful loan spell at Newcastle in the Premier League last season, with his 11 goals going a long way to steering the Magpies to top-flight survival.
Rondon had been linked with making a permanent move to St James’ Park, but the departure of Benitez seemingly put paid to those hopes, although he will now be playing under the Spaniard in China.
The 29-year-old reportedly had a £16.5million release clause in his contract with West Brom, where he played for three seasons, and he admits he is leaving English football with a heavy heart.
“Today is the end of an incredible spell for me in the Premier League. During these past four seasons, I’ve seen my dreams come true,” Rondon told reporters. “Being Newcastle’s No 9 is certainly an honour that’ll always stay with me.
I also feel very grateful to WBA for the affection from every single Baggie right from day one and for the opportunity the club gave me.” However, the former Zenit Saint Petersburg star is also looking forward to the challenge that awaits him in China.
“I’m beginning a challenge that really motivates me and I’m really excited as I become a Dalian Yifang player,” the forward added. Dalian currently sit ninth in the Chinese Super League standings and they face an away clash with Tianjin TEDA on Saturday.
Benitez’ side are priced at 2.60 to win that match, while Tianjin are available at 2.50 and the draw is on offer at 3.50.