Report gives positive update in Newcastle's hopes of signing West Brom's Rondon

Newcastle United's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez smiles during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Bournemouth at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne,...

Newcastle United, West Ham and Cardiff City are the three Premier League sides eyeing Salomon Rondon of West Bromwich Albion.

Jay Rodriguez of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring his sides first goal with Jose Salomon Rondon of West Bromwich Albion during the Premier League match between Manchester...

Newcastle United have come out of nowhere to lead the race for Salomon Rondon.

It is no secret that manager Rafa Benitez wants a new striker to lead the line next season after The Magpies somehow finished in the top half despite their most prolific goalscorer, Ayoze Perez, notching just eight times in the Premier League.

Rondon, a tall, physical centre-forward, appears to fit the style that Benitez is looking for. After being relegated with West Brom, the Venezuelan international is reportedly available for £16.5 million thanks to a release clause in his contract.

West Bromwich Albion's Venezuelan striker Salomon Rondon (R) tries to make room for a cross as Newcastle United's US defender DeAndre Yedlin (L) defends during the English Premier League...

And The Mail (live blog, 3.39pm) reports that Newcastle are now leading the chase for Rondon ahead of Cardiff City and West Ham United, who have both been linked with the former Zenit striker for a longer period of time.

West Ham might have been seen as the favourites to sign Rondon given that their new manager Manuel Pellegrini was the coach who gave the targetman his break during a spell in La Liga with Malaga.

Malaga's Venezuelan forward Salomon Rondon celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Malaga CF vs Rayo Vallecano on March 22, 2012 at Rosaleda stadium in Malaga....

But Newcastle now seem to be the most likely destination for a striker who, despite all his qualities, will have much to prove when he switches clubs thanks to a far from inspiring record of 24 goals in 108 Premier League appearances.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch