Everton are eyeing a shock swoop for Salomon Rondon of Dalian Yifang, with Rafa Benitez keen on a reunion.

According to football journalist Ekrem Konur, Everton’s search for a new centre-forward has now led them towards Salomon Rondon. The Venezuelan forward, who currently plies his trade for Chinese Super League outfit Dalian Yifang has emerged as the latest option for the Merseyside giants as they look to reinforce the attacking unit.

Everton have already begun talks with Dalian over the potential switch, with the Premier League side hoping to wrap up the deal before the transfer market slams to a shut.

An all-time top-scorer in Venezuelan footballing history, Rondon is a well-travelled striker who has had stints in Spain, England, Russia, China and his native Venezuela. During his time in Premier League and La Liga, the forward has made a combined total of over 200 top-flight appearances.

The 31-year-old is quite familiar with Everton coach Rafa Benitez, having worked with him during his one season on loan at Newcastle United, scoring 11 goals in 32 matches during the 2018/19 campaign. His 18 goal involvements were critical in helping the Magpies avoid relegation in the corresponding campaign.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Salomon Rondon of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring his second goal during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City at The Hawthorns on December 14, 2016 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Salomon Rondon is no stranger to the Premier League. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Rondon was later reunited with Benitez at Dalian, scoring 14 goals in 28 matches before the Spanish tactician eventually returned to England. But now, the former West Bromwich Albion striker could be set for a second reunion at Goodison Park.

With Moise Kean set to join Juventus in the aftermath of Cristiano Ronaldo’s fabled return to Old Trafford, Everton are pushing for a new striker who can provide back-up for Dominic Calvert-Lewin this season. Rondon’s vast experience at the highest level of football, especially in the Premier League, makes him an ideal candidate.

Indeed, the Venezuelan international is a proven goalscorer, having netted 11 goals in his most recent season in England. His physique and aerial prowess, coupled with his goalscoring traits make him an identical alternative for Calvert-Lewin. The veteran forward is unlikely to cost a fortune either due to his age and the precarious sporting situation at Dalian.

However, Everton have no shortage of alternatives, having recently been linked with a move for Odsonne Edouard of Celtic. The Frenchman might be a difficult target, though, as he closes in on the switch to Olympique Lyon. But as the ongoing summer window has repeatedly taught us over the past few months, it is wise to not write off a transfer saga completely, until the deal is made official.

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