Twenty million obstacles in the way of Rafa Benitez returning to Premier League – Report
Rafa Benitez saw his league season come to an end in China on Sunday, the big question whether this will also prove to be his final match with Dalian Yifang.
The former Real Madrid and Newcastle United boss has another two years remaining on his contract but has been increasingly linked with an early return to Europe, especially the Premier League, as clubs that are struggling sack managers and others consider doing the same.
Rafa Benitez has now been with Dalian Yifang for just over five months after Mike Ashley forced him out of Newcastle United at the end of June.
The Spanish manager was brought in mid-season with the initial task of pulling the Chinese club away from the threat of relegation and he went on a run of five wins, one draw and only one defeat in his first seven games – mission quickly completed and the club realistically safe from relegation.
However, since reaching that safety with a win on 2 August 2019, it has been pretty much all downhill since then, only two wins in the final 121 days of the campaign as Dalian Yifang drifted to the end of the season.
That season ended with Rafa Benitez and Salomon Rondon on a small high, the striker scoring a fifth goal in seven starts as they beat rock bottom and already relegated Beijing Renhe 2-0. Rafa Benitez ending his first season in China with a record of Played 17 won 7 drawn 3 Lost
A new round of interviews in recent weeks with media in Europe, mostly with English newspapers and magazines, has predictably increased speculation that the Spaniard will return imminently to a European club, probably Premier League, in the very near future.
Rafa Benitez has though been at pains to stress in these interviews that he is working throughout the Chinese club to improve it longer-term. The new near £200m training complex is due to open shortly and Rafa has already brought in 20 coaches from Spain to work across all age groups.
Now it has been revealed/claimed that there is £20m obstacle to any potential imminent Rafa Benitez return to England/Europe.
The Mail say that ‘West Ham have been dealt a blow’, as the newspaper have been told that there is a ‘World record £20m buyout clause’ for any club wanting to take Rafa Benitez away from Dalian Yifang, now that their season as ended in China.
The report saying that the Chinese club inserted this buyout clause when Rafa signed on at the start of July.
Manuel Pellegrini has bought some time with a backs to the wall 1-0 win at Chelsea at the weekend but is still under pressure after a run of six defeats and two draws in the previous eight games.
The Mail also claim that Arsenal also retain a potential interest in Rafa Benitez.
The newspaper say though that they have been told that Benitez ‘has little intention of leaving just five months into the job and it would be politically difficult for him to do so with two years still to run on his deal.’
Interesting that the report also adds/claims that Arsenal supposedly refused to ‘meet the £14.5m release clause for Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, let alone anything in excess of that’ in order to land a new manager.
If it was somebody who they really thought was the right man, it is an oddity in this day and age when you consider how a club like the Gunners paid £72m for Nicolas Pepe alone this summer, a striker who has been left out of their PL team since October.
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