In an official statement, Verona have confirmed that Rafa Benitez has parted company with his number two, Fabio Pecchia.

The former Juventus and Sampdoria player takes over as Manager of Verona after agreeing a one year contract.

The official Verona club statement on late Wednesday afternoon read:

‘Verona –  Hellas Verona FC announces that it has entrusted the technical guidance of the first team to Fabio Pecchia, with contract expiring June 30, 2017.

The coach of Formia will be joined by Nicola Corrent (assistant coach) , Marco Antonio Ferrone (trainer athletic) and Valerio Visconti (goalkeeper coach).’

Sky Sports journalist Gianluca Di Marzio reported on Tuesday that Pecchia was set to take over at Verona, after they parted company with Luigi Del Neri following finishing rock bottom of Serie A this past season.

The 42 year old played for a host of Serie A clubs, then after retiring had a brief spell in lower league management in Italy before teaming up with Rafa Benitez.

Fabio Pecchia has been Rafa’s assistant at Napoli, Real Madrid and then Newcastle at the end of last season but he has returned to second tier management in Serie B rather than staying on Tyneside.

When Rafa Benitez was announced as staying at Newcastle last Wednesday, there was maybe a clue that changes were possible in his backroom team.

The official statement released by Newcastle didn’t confirm that Rafa’s backroom team were also staying, instead stating:

A further announcement regarding Benitez’s coaching staff will be made in due course.’

Ian Cathro was the only one of the coaching staff to survive when Steve McClaren was sacked, so it would appear he is in prime position to replace Fabio Pecchia.