Newcastle’s Perez hails ‘amazing relationship’ with strike partner Rondon

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The pair scored 23 Premier League goals for Rafael Benitez's side last season, but it is unclear whether either will be at St James' Park next year

Newcastle United forward Ayoze Perez has opened up about his partnership with fellow striker Salomon Rondon, ahead of a summer of uncertainty for the pair.

Perez’s fine form at the end of the season has seen him linked with a move away from St James’ Park, with clubs at home and abroad thought to be interested in his services.

The on-loan Rondon, meanwhile, has returned to parent club West Brom but a 12-goal haul this season has had Newcastle fans clamouring for his move to be made permanent.

"We've got an amazing relationship,” Perez 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."

With 25 goals between them in all competitions, Perez and Rondon helped Rafael Benitez’s side climb up the table and finish comfortably safe from relegation with a 13th-place finish.

Uncertainty over Benitez’s own future lingers despite talks between the club and manager thought to be progressing well, something rival clubs could look to use to their advantage.

Perez has made no secret of his desire to play for the Spanish international side, and his omission from Luis Enrique’s most recent squad could encourage him to consider his options elsewhere.

Whatever the outcome, the 25-year-old has certainly developed as a player since Benitez took over on Tyneside – but despite often playing in a more creative role, he was clear that his attacking instincts haven’t deserted him.

"I came here as a striker as I was number nine for my old team, Tenerife,” Perez said.

"You grow up having that in your mind. You know the movements and you live your life in the penalty area.

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"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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