Rafael Benítez

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Benitez joins Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang

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DALIAN, China (AP) Rafael Benitez has confirmed he has joined Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang.

He tweeted on Tuesday, “After a long path… We start a new challenge! I’m happy to begin this new project with Dalian Yifang.”

Another tweet was a brief video welcome from the club.

Neither tweets defined a job title, but the announcement has come a day after Dalian Yifang’s South Korean manager, Choi Kang-hee, resigned.

Benitez saw out his manager contract at Newcastle on Sunday, and noted he wanted to stay at St James’ Park “but I didn’t just want to sign an extended contract, I wanted to be part of a project. Unfortunately it became increasingly clear to me that those at the top of the club did not share the same vision.”

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Rafael Benitez out as Newcastle’s manager

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Rafael Benitez will leave his role as Newcastle United’s manager this weekend.

The contract of the Spanish coach runs out on Sunday, June 30 and he has failed to agree a new deal at St James’ Park.

With the uncertainty over whether or not owner Mike Ashley will sell Newcastle over the summer, there appeared to be plenty of obstacles for both parties to overcome.

The fact that Benitez declined to extend his contract last summer when it had just one year remaining said a lot about where his head was at, as there was constant talk about his future over the past six months.

It is believed in recent weeks that he was only offered a one-year contract extension by Ashley.

Benitez, 59, has spent the past three full seasons at Newcastle after he joined in March 2016 but failed to save them from relegation from the Premier League.

The former Liverpool, Real Madrid, Valencia, Inter Milan, Napoli and Chelsea manager stayed in charge and led them to promotion from the Championship, then stabilized the club in the Premier League with 10th and 13th place finishes on a shoestring budget.

Below is the statement from the club in full, as Benitez’s backroom staff also leave St James’ Park alongside him.

“It is with disappointment that we announce manager Rafael Benitez will leave Newcastle United upon the expiry of his contract on 30th June 2019. 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.

“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.”

Benitez leaves Newcastle with his reputation enhanced and Newcastle’s passionate supporters will now be upset and angry with owner Ashley that they have lost a hugely successful manager.

It is believed that Benitez wanted more money to spend this summer to push Newcastle up the table and challenge for a top seven finish, as well as making significant runs in cup competitions.

That will not happen as the uncertainty over Newcastle’s future remains, while Benitez has been linked with a move to manage in the Chinese Super League.

He will not be out of a job for long, as the job he has done at Newcastle has been nothing short of sensational.

Premier League Preview: Brighton v. Newcastle United

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  • Brighton won 1-0 at Newcastle on Oct. 20
  • Magpies haven’t scored in three versus Seagulls, but have won two-straight
  • Brighton leads all-time 10W-4D-9L

Newcastle United sees one of the Premier League’s longest away days when it hopes to spoil Brighton and Hove Albion’s hopes of firming of top-flight safety at the Amex Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Newcastle doesn’t give up a ton of chances, and Brighton hasn’t been capitalizing on theirs. The now relegation-threatened Seagulls have not scored in 701 minutes between the Premier League and FA Cup.

The Magpies have won two-straight but are without Miguel Almiron, who has unlocked defenses for Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon. Can that help Brighton get a big point or three?

What they’re saying

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez on his contract running out“I want to compete and try to win trophies, but you cannot compete in the cups when you are at the bottom and have players injured. It is so simple to understand. If we do the right things we can compete.”

Brighton captain Bruno on fighting for safety: “The key thing is to stay together, and that’s where we’re lucky. We have a strong core of a team that’s been together for a long time and that helps in this situation. We need to play our football and relax, because when you put too much responsibility on yourself, you don’t always give your best. We need to relax because we’ve got good footballers, and we need to keep a calm mind. We have to relax and believe we are good footballers.”

Prediction

This one has Glenn Murray written all over it, and the Seagulls will be able to find some magic to basically preserve their PL status with a 1-0 win.

Benitez frustrated over lack of Newcastle signings

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Rafael Benitez has called the transfer market “crazy” as Newcastle United’s preparations for their Premier League return continue to go at a snails pace.

[ MORE: Lukaku joins United for $96.5 million ]

Surely Newcastle won’t make the same mistakes they’ve made in the past.

Benitez, 57, spoke at a fan event in Newcastle and revealed that his side are struggling to bring in the players they would like to push on after gaining promotion from the Championship.

“It’s not easy for a lot of teams because the market is a little bit crazy. We have to try to do our best,” Benitez said. “The top sides have a lot of money. The other teams are spending too, but we will see what we can do. We know where we are – that is not ideal because everybody wants to see a lot of players signing already, but we have to keep working and see what we can do. We can do nothing other than just keep working to find the players that we want, and hopefully we can do it.”

The timing of this comment is clever from Benitez and the former Liverpool, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid manager has always been keen to push the owners and board as much as he can to get what he wants.

With Newcastle starting preseason, the Magpies boss is giving owner Mike Ashley a nudge to remind him that he needs backing in the transfer market before the new season kicks off on Aug. 12.

Benitez was given huge funds last season (Dwight Gayle, Mohamed Diame and Matt Ritchie all arrived) when Newcastle were in the second-tier after Benitez came in late during the 2015-16 campaign but couldn’t save them from relegation. For the past six months reports have popped up stating Benitez was unhappy with the lack of transfer funds available and it was thought he could walk away in May after guiding Newcastle back to the PL.

However, the club released a statement early in the summer stating that Benitez would be staying on and he commented on how happy he was with the transfer policy as the owner had promised every penny from promotion would be spent on the squad. Benitez obviously isn’t too happy with Newcastle’s transfer dealings right now (they missed out on signing the likes of Willy Caballero and Tammy Abraham) but there’s still over eight weeks left in the summer window to get deals done.

Christian Atsu has arrived on a permanent deal from Chelsea this summer, while defender Florian Lejeune arrived from Eibar but it’s been hard going apart from that. Yes, the likes of Gayle and Jonjo Shelvey provide Premier League experience and will be vital if Newcastle are to kick on and finish in the top half of the PL table as they hope to, but adding more quality is essential if Newcastle aren’t going to embroiled in yet another relegation battle.

Benitez knows that. Hence, these comments.

Rafa Benitez will stay with Newcastle as club rejoins Premier League

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All is right in the world as Newcastle returns to the Premier League in 2017/18, and the man that brought the Magpies back will be steering the ship once more.

[ MORE: Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s insane goal bonus reportedly leaked ]

Manager Rafael Benitez will be back with the club next season as the Magpies prepare for life once again in England’s top flight after one season removed.

The club confirmed this news on Wednesday:

“Newcastle United can confirm that a meeting has taken place between the club’s owner, Mike Ashley, managing director Lee Charnley, and manager Rafa Benitez.

“It was agreed by all parties that the meeting was very positive and constructive. Mike again congratulated Rafa and his team on gaining promotion to the Premier League as champions.

“Plans for next season were discussed, including the purchase and loan of players to add to the squad in readiness for the Premier League season.”

Sky Sports is reporting that the former Real Madrid coach has been promised roughly $90 million for the upcoming summer transfer window in preparation for the club’s return to the PL.

Benitez helped guide the Magpies to the top of the SkyBet Championship this season after recording 94 points and a goal difference of +45.

Newcastle will be joined in promotion next season by second-place finishers Brighton & Hove Albion, while the third team to rise will be determined by the league’s annual playoffs. Reading, Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield and Fulham will all vie for that spot when the playoffs commence this weekend.