Date: 21st May 2019 at 5:01pm
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It is not only the United fanbase and manager Rafa Benitez who are keen to see West Bromwich Albion striker Salomon Rondon retained, it seems, as Ayoze Perez has revealed to the Chronicle just how much he enjoys playing alongside the 72-cap Venezuelan star.

The pair were responsible for 25 of our goals across all competitions in the 2018/19 season, with Rondon also assisting a further seven and Perez a further four.

They also connected with each other for six goals, and Perez feels his combination with Rondon has been ‘amazing’.

“We’ve got an amazing relationship,” he told the Chronicle. “If he gets the chance to give me a goal, he’ll do it. And it’s the same the other way around. The main thing is to win matches and it means a lot.”

Worryingly, though, Perez’s words could also be taken as a warning to owner Mike Ashley, that failing to trigger Rondon’s £16.5million release clause, before someone like West Ham United or Wolverhampton Wanderers do, could mark the point where the £9million-rated Spaniard begins searching for a route out of Tyneside.

Perez has been linked with multiple potential offers since the Premier League campaign drew to a close, and his words on being a striker in mindset could suggest he would be open to accepting a move away if he is promised the role again – something he would be unlikely to receive at St James’ Park even if Rondon is not retained, after being moved into an inside-forward position under Benitez.

“At the end of the day, I have the mind of a striker,” he added. “I came here as a striker, as I was No. 9 for my old team Tenerife. And you grow up having that in your mind.

“You know the movements and you live your life in the penalty area. I always try to get into good positions. I’m always looking to cash in on a little deflection or trying to get into the box for the second ball.

“They are the things that make a difference. You have to get in there to have the chance. I always have that in mind. I used to be a striker and that’s why I am how I am.”

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