By 90Min
July 31, 2018

Newcastle have no intention to pursue Lille midfielder Thiago Maia, according to Chronicle Live.

Reports in France have linked the Premier League club with an interest in the Brazilian, claiming Rafa Benitez wants him on a season-long loan with the option to purchase permanently. 

Yet the aforementioned are reporting that central midfield is not a priority area for the Magpies as they look ahead to next season.

Gualter Fatia/GettyImages

West Brom forward Salomon Rondon is understood to be top priority for Benitez and his side. The Baggies attacker has a £16.5m release clause in his contract with his current side, but the Toon want to use Dwight Gayle as a makeweight rather than pay the fee outright.

The Venezuelan has spent the last three years with West Brom and offers Premier League experience, as well as a threat in the air and an eye for goal.

Rondon has been handed some high praise by Venezuela manager Rafael Dudamel, who's previously made claims of the forward possibly being as good as Luis Suarez in a better team.

He said: “If (Luis) Suarez is the best striker in the world or not, I can not discuss it, because he also plays for Barcelona, a team in which he knows how to take advantage, within the collective gear, of the best of his teammates.

“If Rondon played in Barcelona he would also be among the best in the world.”

Benitez, meanwhile, is said to be searching for a second striker to play off whoever will be his target man next season. Currently at his disposal are Ayoze Perez and Joselu, while Yoshinori Muto awaits a work permit.

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