As Manchester United scrambled to get a strike on board late in January, they seemed to have contacted many players and among them is a former Newcastle forward.
When Marcus Rashford got sidelined with a double stress fracture in his back, Manchester United were short upfront. The Red Devils only had Martial and an 18-year-old Greenwood to call on to spearhead the attack. And with the January transfer window heading towards its conclusion, the Mancunians scrambled to finally get Ighalo through the door on deadline day. It was also reported that the club had made several other contacts before zeroing in on the Nigerian man. Now, one such target has addressed the speculation.
“It was not smoke”
Former Newcastle United man, Salomon Rondon has made an interesting revelation. The Venezuelan has confirmed that the 20-time English champions were in contact with him in January.
“It was all out of my hands,” Rondon told The Athletic. “It means a lot to be linked with Manchester United because they have a great history and it must mean they think I did well in the Premier League.”
“They started to talk to my agent and I was just waiting by my phone for a decision, maybe for the lawyers, but then I saw Ighalo had signed. It didn’t get to the stage where an offer was made or anything like that, but I think it was really close.”
He also told the Spanish news outlet, AS, that Manchester United’s interest in him was genuine. “There was something. It was not smoke,” Rondon concluded.
Salomon Rondon would have been a decent signing for Manchester United, contrary to popular beliefs. Rondon has lots of experience playing in the Premier League for West Brom and then Newcastle. During his time in England, he has always been involved in 10 goals or more every season.
His numbers at Newcastle are impressive. Standing at 3.06 Shots per 90 and around 1.1 Key passes, Rondon was a key cog in the Benitez machine. And the Toon army certainly had no griefs about his work ethic.
Ultimately, it was Ighalo who came through the doors at Carrington. Another day, it could have been Rondon. All of this only indicates, without any disrespect to the duo, the mess the club is in.