West Bromwich Albion have completed the signing of striker Salomon Rondon for a club record fee of around £12m from Zenit St Petersburg.
The Venezuelan has agreed a four-year contract and will not be eligible for the Baggies’ opening Premier League clash with Manchester City at the Hawthorns.
Rondon said: “The club showed a lot of interest in me. That’s what is important for a player, what you take into account, and there are expectations of me.”
The fee smashes the £10m the Midlands club paid Dynamo Kiev last summer for the services of Brown Ideye.
Rondon, who has also featured for Rubin Kazan and Malaga, scored 20 goals in 37 appearances for Russian club, Zenit, last season.
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Manager Tony Pulis said the 25-year-old was “highly recommended” by Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini – who managed the striker at Malaga – and former Zenit boss Andre Villas-Boas.
“We feel with age on his side and the prices English clubs are asking for their players, it’s a deal worth doing,” said Pulis.
“He’s got a fantastic goalscoring record in some of the top leagues in Europe and for his country. He’s 25 years of age and still to fulfil his full potential.
“We hope he hits the ground running of course but understand it might take him time to settle.”