Rafa Benitez to leave Newcastle this week after three seasons in charge

Rafa Benitez QUITS Newcastle as club reveal their ‘disappointment’ after manager turned down their contract offers… with China set to be his next destination on £12m-a-year contract

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Newcastle will begin their search for a new manager after it was announced that Rafa Benitez will leave the club.

Benitez will officially leave his role at St. James’ Park on Sunday when his contract expires.

The 59-year-old has spent just over three years in charge since replacing Steve McClaren in March 2016.

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Rafa Benitez will leave his post as Newcastle manager when his contract expires this month

However, plans to extend his tenure have ceased following a lack of rapprochement between owner Mike Ashley and the Spaniard.

There had been minimal progress in discussions at the end of the season and Benitez was resigned to the fact that his time at the club was over given the longstanding inability to agree on how best to approach in the transfer market.

And on Monday, Newcastle confirmed his fate with a statement in the afternoon. 

‘It is with disappointment that we announce manager Rafael Benítez will leave Newcastle United upon the expiry of his contract on 30th June 2019,’ it read.

‘We have worked hard to extend Rafa’s contract over a significant period of time, however it has not been – and will not be – possible to reach an agreement with Rafa and his representatives. 

‘Rafa’s coaching staff, Paco de Míguel Moreno, Antonio Gómez Pérez and Mikel Antia, will also leave the club on 30th June.

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‘We would like to thank Rafa and his coaching team for their efforts over the last three years and their significant contribution to what has been collectively achieved.

‘We would also like to thank our supporters, players and staff for their patience during a period of uncertainty.

‘The process to appoint a successor will now begin.’

With Benitez out of a job this week, reports have emerged that he is now seriously considering a lucrative offer on the table from Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang.

The club are one of a number from the cash-laden China league interested in Benitez’s services after learning he may be ready to call time on his Newcastle tenure, claim the Times.

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The desire to take Benitez to China however is a strong one, with the super rich Dalian Yifang eager to bring in a respected Champions League-winning manager to head their project.

A bonus is the cost-free availability of Benitez, with the manager able to leave Tyneside on a free deal with no compensation required to be paid to the club.

A £12million-a-year offer has landed on Benitez’s table as a result, which represents a considerable increase on his Newcastle income.

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