West Brom manager Tony Pulis has insisted that Salomon Rondon has been unsettled by ‘personal issues’ rather than the big money of the Chinese Super League.
The 27-year-old is subject to a £32million bid from Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjin, but the Baggies have placed a not-for-sale tag on their main man.
The former Zenit St Petersburg man has scored 17 times since moving to the Hawthorns in a £12million move in August 2015 and West Brom officials are bracing themselves for an even larger offer from China in the coming weeks, with their transfer window shutting at the end of this month.
Rondon was substituted in the Baggies 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough on Tuesday night after a lacklustre performance, missing a gilt-edged chance.
However, with suggestions that the Venezuelan has had his head turned with a possible £200,000 a week wage in China, Pulis jumped at the chance to defend his forward, declaring that Rondon was struggling with family issues instead.
Pulis said: “There’s lots of stuff going on around Salomon and I’ve got to make sure he’s focused.
“It’s not football stuff. It’s nothing to do with the speculation.
“It’s a personal thing to do with his family back in Venezuela.
“We understand where he is at at the moment and he worked his socks off for a good hour.
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“So we will look at him. He’s a great lad and been a good player for us.
“There are no problems with him playing.”