Benitez releases statement upon expiration of Newcastle contract

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Rafa Benitez has bid adieu to the fans of Newcastle United after the expiration of his contract.

Newcastle announced last week that the beloved manager would not sign a new deal with the club after contract negotiations stalled over the past month.

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While his tenure started with an inability to save the club’s Premier League status, Benitez’s performance with the Magpies over the past three seasons was nothing short of a success, leading the club back to the top flight before keeping it there despite owner Mike Ashley spending less money than the majority of fellow PL clubs.

Benitez says his hesitance wasn’t just about the length of a proposed deal. He’s frustrated that the club would not make a commitment to his plan of what was needed to grow to the next level.

“Unfortunately, it became increasingly clear to me that those at the top of the Club did not share the same vision.”

The relationship between Benitez and Ashley was almost always an uneasy one, and the former’s courtship of Newcastle’s supporter base was wholehearted. Once Benitez went to public with his pleas for more record spending after the Miguel Almiron signing — which will probably be a club record with incentives — it started to feel like there was more to the story regarding hopes of a new deal.