Salomón Rondón links up with Benítez for third time after joining Everton

Everton have signed Salomón Rondón on a free transfer from the Chinese Super League side Dalian Pro to reunite the centre forward with Rafael Benítez for the third time in his career.

The 31-year-old Venezuelan sealed a move to Goodison Park minutes before the transfer deadline having had to resolve a financial issue with his former employers. Rondón has signed a two-year contract with the option of a third year and will provide much-needed cover for Dominic Calvert-Lewin following Moise Kean’s deadline day return to Juventus.

Rondón previously played under Benítez at Newcastle, where he scored 11 goals in 32 Premier League games while on loan from West Bromwich Albion, and followed the Everton manager to China in 2019. He spent the final months of last season on loan at CSKA Moscow.

The striker said: “I’m really glad to be back in the Premier League. It’s a competition I enjoyed playing in and where I felt the fans’ support in every game. Defending the colours of a club with a history as rich as Everton’s fills me with pride. I can’t wait to pull on the shirt and be reunited with Rafa Benítez, a coach who has changed the way I understand the game. I’m really grateful for the faith he’s shown in me.”

Everton had also wanted to sign Colombia winger Luis Díaz from Porto plus a right-back, but were unable to agree a deal that would see James Rodríguez return to the Portuguese club and saw moves for Nathan Patterson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles rejected by Rangers and Arsenal respectively.