In Summary
  • "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."
  • Benitez, who won the Champions League when in charge of Liverpool in 2005, has been reportedly offered a contract worth £12 million-a-year at Chinese club Dalian Yifang.

LONDON

Rafael Benitez's three-year reign as Newcastle manager will come to an end next week after failing to agree terms on a new contract, the club confirmed on Monday.

Benitez was a hugely popular figure among the Newcastle support after stabilising the Magpies in the Premier League and the news is likely to spark more protests aimed at the club's owner Mike Ashley.

"It is with disappointment that we announce manager Rafael Benitez will leave Newcastle United upon the expiry of his contract on 30th June 2019," Newcastle said in a statement.

"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."

Despite failing to keep Newcastle in the top flight shortly after taking over in March 2016, Benitez earned hero status on Tyneside as he led Newcastle back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. He then comfortably secured survival by finishing 10th and 13th in the last two seasons.

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