Marcel Brands will have to pay attention to events unfolding at St James’ Park, as Newcastle have emerged as the latest interested party in Atalanta’s on-loan striker Duvan Zapata.
The Chronicle understands, via their sources in the Serie A, that Rafa Benitez’s outfit have been carrying out scouting missions in Italy recently, with a particular focus on the West Ham and Inter Milan linked hitman.
A deal for the UC Sampdoria-owned centre-forward would not be cheap, however, with TuttoMercatoWEB previously citing claims that Atalanta would demand upwards of €50million (£42.8m) for his services once they trigger their option to buy.
Newcastle agreeing to pay a fee in that region would be very eye-catching, with Mike Ashley’s previous reluctance to part way with his money well documented, but it could open the door for Brands to secure one of the forwards we have been linked with.
Salomon Rondon was suggested as a potential Toffees summer target by the Daily Star earlier this month, with the newspaper claiming we were potentially looking at high-jacking the Magpies’ move for his signature on a permanent basis.
The Venezuelan is said to be hopeful of prolonging his stay in the North East beyond his season-long loan from West Bromwich Albion, but the deal is not yet sealed, as Ashley is hesitant in paying £16.5million for his services, as he will turn 30 in September and have one-year remaining on his contract at the Hawthorns.
The same £16.5m release clause would be available to us in the summer should we actively seek a move for Rondon, however it could rise to above £20m should the West Midlands outfit secure promotion back into the Premier League, most likely via the Play-Offs.