Rafa Benitez gets £12m a year new club offer to walk away from Newcastle United – The Times
Tuesday morning has brought news that Rafa Benitez has been offered a £12m a year contract elsewhere.
The (current….) Newcastle manager sees his three year NUFC contract run out in 12 days time and no word yet on whether there is any chance of him staying on.
With no conclusion either way on the ownership of Newcastle United, fans have been hoping that things are going on behind the scenes that will see everything (owner, manager, new signings) fall into place. However, as the clock ticks on, the stress levels are understandably rising.
The £12m a year offer to Rafa Benitez has come from Dalian Yifang in the Chinese Super League.
The fact that this news comes from The Times rather than certain other newspapers, makes it a bit more difficult to dismiss.
It doesn’t mean that Rafa Benitez would necessarily take any such offer, if there is substance in it, and indeed he has been offered deals by other Chinese clubs in the past.
The Times, just as interestingly, also say that Rafa has actually been offered a new one year deal by Newcastle United ‘but has been unable to agree terms, or secure commitments from the club about how his transfer budget is spent.’
The report adds that The Times’ information is that Mike Ashley are now in advanced talks with at least two potential buyers but still no conclusion in sight.
If Rafa Benítez were to accept the Dalian Yifang offer, he would become the highest paid manager in China, overtaking Fabio Cannavaro, at Guangzhou Evergrande coach, who earns £11 million.
The newspaper states that Dalian Yifang are backed by Wang Jianlin, who is the fourth richest man in China and worth £17.2 billion at the last count.
He sold his 17% stake in Atletico Madrid last year with Jianlin said to want to concentrate all his efforts on Dalian Yifang.
The club appointed Choi Kang-hee in February but have lost six of their 13 league games so far this season.
Rafa Benitez has often said how part of the attraction of Newcastle United is that it allows him to be close to the family home in the north west.
No doubt many Newcastle fans will be happy to write off the possibility of Rafa Benitez being interested in a Chinese club, as opposed to one in the Premier League, or even the likes of an offer from Spain or Italy.
However, unless there is major positive chance at St James Park, it looks all but impossible that he would stay on and work under the same limitations as these past years under Mike Ashley.
Something must surely happen soon, whether that is positive or negative for Newcastle fans, nobody can be confident either way as it stands.
This report has come from Gary Jacob who is a sports reporter at The Times, interesting to see if George Caulkin, the newspaper’s man in the north east, adds anything to the story today.
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