Salomon Rondon admits he was waiting for West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini to call him before deciding to play in the Chinese Super League. Rondon, 29, spent last season on loan with Newcastle United where his 11 Premier League goals helped keep the Magpies in the top flight.
He was keen to remain at St James’ Park but Rafa Benitez’s departure meant a return to parent club West Brom was inevitable. However, the man capped 77 times by Venezuela has now reunited with his Tyneside boss at Chinese club Dalian Yifang, with the Blue Hawks having activated the player’s release clause of £16.5 million.
It could have been a different story,= as Rondon was keen to stay in the Premier League but had to act when the Hammers failed to firm up their reported interest. “We never saw a proper offer,” he told The Sun. “I was waiting to see if Pellegrini would call. I never received that call and Rafa was calling me all the time, so I chose to go to China.”
But the South American has not to ruled out a return to England in the future, adding: “I can play again in the Premier League one day because I am the kind of striker people like in England – scores goals, works really hard, runs, fights with the defender.”