Rafa Benitez has been lined up for a move to China.

That is if you believe the latest ‘exclusive’ from The Mirror (see below).

The newspaper reports that ‘a source close to the Chinese game’ has told them he is likely to be swapping Newcastle United for a Chinese Super League.

I wonder which Chinese takeaway the source/sauce works at?

You have to give The Mirror credit, not for having a scoop but for their perseverance in running stories claiming a move to another club is imminent for Rafa Benitez.

Rafa had only been at Newcastle nine months when The Mirror ‘revealed’ (in December 2016) he was taking over at West Ham (see below).

Then two months later (mid-February 2017) the very same newspaper then declared it was actually Arsenal that Benitez was taking over at.

Only for days later announcing ‘Rafa Benitez is set to go to China at the end of the season.’

They have made other similar claims in these past 18 months as it is an easy story to write, everybody knowing how Mike Ashley is undermining his manager. However, claiming to have this inside information on a move(s) is just plain embarrassing.

Once again, if/when Rafa Benitez leaves Newcastle United, he won’t be going to China. A major factor in choosing Newcastle was that he would be near his family home in the north west, that is the north west of England, not China…

This weekend’s ‘exclusive’ from The Mirror:

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez lined up for shock move to Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is a target for Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian next summer.

Top clubs in China have been closely monitoring the uncertainty over Benitez’s future.

And mid-table Quanjian, where the Portuguese former Leicester, Swansea and QPR boss Paulo Sousa has been in charge since last November, are prepared to wait for Benitez.

The Spaniard is in the final year of his Toon contract and has still not agreed a new deal – despite being offered fresh terms.

Chinese sides have been interested in Benitez for around 18 months and the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss could expect an astronomical salary in the Far East, possibly as much as £30m a year.

The hire-and-fire approach in China means big-name managers are always in demand.

And a source close to the Chinese game said:

“Tianjin Quanjian could be interested in Rafa at the end of the season when he would be free as things stand.

“Clubs in China are still monitoring his situation, especially with him not signing a contract. A manager here can lose two games and be out, so any of the top clubs could be interested.’’

Shanghai Shenhua’s Chinese boss Wu Jingui is one of the managers under pressure after only one win in six games.

The Mag – 26 February 2017:

Headlines from The Mirror:

December 2016: Rafa Benitez is set to join West Ham.

Mid-February 2017: Rafa Benitez is in line to replace Arsene Wenger.

Late February 2017: Rafa Benitez is set to go to China at the end of the season because two Chinese Super League clubs have prepared offers to make him the best paid manager in the World.

Rafa Benitez is in line to become the highest paid Manager in the World.

That is if you believe Newcastle United’s official media partner.

However, it won’t be Mike Ashley who would be agreeing the wage rise.

Instead, The Mirror claim that their information is that two (unnamed) Chinese Super League clubs have made clear that they will be offering Rafa Benitez the £600,000 a week (£30m a year) deal, if he is willing to leave Newcastle United.

The report/story also goes with the line that Rafa is still furious that Mike Ashley wouldn’t back him in the January transfer window and that in contrast he would have an ‘unlimited transfer budget’, if he agreed to take up one of these alleged £30m offers that will be made.

Rafa Benitez was clearly far from happy when Newcastle failed to sign any of his list of transfer targets, even on loan, in the summer – but whether that equates to being interested in putting his career on hold and/or bringing it to an end for a barrel of money in China, is quite another thing.

Nobody knows what the Newcastle Manager’s intentions are but he had no choice but to carry on after that January window.

Rafa Benitez is clearly intent on getting this promotion task completed, rather than having a major black mark on his CV, then at the end of the season he would have no shortage of offers if he did decide to leave Tyneside.

Newcastle fans of course are desperate for him to stay and the former Real Madrid boss has been the total professional and given no indication he intends to leave, no matter what went on in January.

Having done all of this preparation work, it is difficult to imagine Rafa not fancying another real go at the Premier League assuming promotion, just so as long as Mike Ashley treats him right…

One attraction of the Newcastle job was that Rafa Benitez was in relatively easy travelling distance from his family home on Merseyside, so no matter how much money may or may not be on offer in China, that would be another major hurdle to any claimed move.

  • Big Hairy Man

    Must be true, it’s in the Mirror. Would believe it more if it was in the Beano.

    • Kenny

      have you checked the Beano ?

      • Big Hairy Man

        Not yet, but I’m sure they would do a better job than our “preferred media partner.

  • StevieB

    I think he’ll leave in may, but it won’t be for China

  • East Durham Mag

    If or when Rafa goes it stands to reason that he will attract a lot of interest from the football world. It seems odd that a ” media partner” would be hell bent on ruining NUFC. I wonder who could be behind it? The three Fattys?

  • ghostrider

    Surely a man of integrity and honesty like Rafa wouldn’t manage in a Chinese league just for big bucks…right?

    • Kenny

      he is currently employed by the biggest vermin scum in the UK,
      so why would he not work for the Chinese

      • Mr wobert

        I agree,the thing with the Chinese is they don’t like to lose face,so if they said you can have all the money generated from sales.THATS WHAT HE WOULD GET.
        And they can be a slippery lot….lol

    • drc74

      surely a man of integrity, wouldn’t buy up failing businesses, cancel all orders, fxcj the supply chain over,, cancel the value of everyone’s gift cards, fxck people over their pensions and tupe people into zero hour contracts

    • Reggae86


    • Rafalution 14

      Why shouldn’t he after this season, he is out of contract he can choose any club he likes. What has that got to do with integrity ?

      On the other hand, if he was working for an owner who did share his vision, invest money, and then Rafa left then that would question his integrity

      • ghostrider

        If you think Rafa going to China would be for footballing reasons then you’re welcome to it…but “IF” he did, it would be for nothing other than money and that basically scuppers any integrity people believed he had.

        Naturally this is assuming he would do this. But…who knows?

  • Lord

    Wow, 3 sentences with 2 uses of the word ‘could’. Definitive stuff.

  • Leazes.

    A move closer to home is on the cards, Benitez Sacked his agent who signed him up to the ‘handcuff’ deal with Charnley.

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise to find Sunday Newspaper headlines on a Sunday….. that’s what they are, I read the article to find sources for the claim and there aren’t any.

    ….”And a source CLOSE to the Chinese game said: “Tianjin Quanjian COULD be interested in Rafa at the end of the season when he would be free as things stand”

    The day of the fake headline selling a newspaper is gone with the readership, the newspaper journalists have consumed their own feet…. as is seen with Keys and Wise, we now have media people interviewing themselves, take note Chronicle….. you aren’t experts in the field of football or truth…..

    ….You have killed your own profession.

    • Milburn_Taylor

      the reporting in the chronicle is a disgrace

      • FatParosite

        That is NOT reporting….

      • Mr wobert

        It’s not reporting ,it’s a lesson in creative writing.

        • Sickandtired

          It’s all lifted from blogs, social media and other ‘papers. When they have nowt they can regurgitate, they roll out the ‘5 Questions…’ nonsense. The two times they have been gifted the opportunity to quiz the club, they settled for agreeing to ask nothing and just print the propaganda provided.

  • Kenny

    Rafas a rich guy but £30m for a years graft is a lot of money

  • Carbine

    Ha ha! A couple of years in China and he could buy Ashley out. That would solve a few problems.

  • MadMag83

    It’s Ashley trying to get Rafa out without having to sack him. Rafa walks and Ashley doesn’t pay compensation, he avoids the backlash that would come about from sacking Benitez. Ashley can then install a yes man and pay him pittance!

    • Sickandtired

      Rafa walks before his contract ends then he has to give Fatty £6 million – or another club does.

      • MadMag83

        Win win for Ashley. He gets rid of a dissenting voice, and £6m in his pocket to wave about at his next staged SD security search.

  • HarryHype59

    Rafa looks like a man who his working his notice at this club. If an offer comes in for him he will leave. He is obviously exasperated at the continued penny pinching of Ashley. I will be surprised if he is still here by Christmas!

    • StevieB

      He’ll go at the end of the season mate, all honourable men would do that and that’s what he is. It’s gonna look disastrous for Mike in may when it happens , he’ll go as a martyr and the club will spiral

      • Kneebotherm8

        Mike will come out with his usual bull💩………well I offered him a new contract but he wouldn’t sign it……..no one can blame me that he’s left…….

        • Sickandtired

          Big Sam will get the honey pot of money not supplied to Rafa.

          • Kneebotherm8

            That’s exactly what I think…..couldn’t agree more….

        • MadMag83

          Charnley will be placed in the firing line, no doubt with the usual “We couldn’t get him over the line” defence.

          • Kneebotherm8

            I think this is definitely the organ grinder………….not the monkey Charnleys doing……fatboy definitely wants Benitez out and is forcing him out in an underhanded,devious way…

  • SuperDesHamilton

    Goodness me! If they knew anything about Chinese football it wouldn’t be Tianjin the idiots.

    Typical cut & paste rubbish from the mirror

  • StevieB

    And I don’t think Rafa is staying due to any financial reason whatsoever, bear in mind his next club will pay him 6m per year, and a signing on fee.

  • StevieB

    I really do think Benítez harboured a vision to stay in the north east and build something close to his family home then retire in 10 years or so, you keep hearing him talk about these 10 year things and I think that’s what he wanted but it’s become clear that mike just isn’t gonna allow that to happen

  • Reggae86

    He’s been turning offers like this down for a good while. If money was a factor, he’d have been gone long ago, given the figures involved. Can’t see him being on the jobseekers’ for too long once he’s gone, but who could blame him if he did a season or two for megabucks before a better offer came along?