Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is set to leave Saint James’ Park at the end of the month after his three-year contract expires.
The Magpies have confirmed the news, and they will begin the search for a replacement in earnest.
Benitez and Newcastle have been locked in negotiations talks for the past 18 months, but both couldn’t agree terms, with owner Mike Ashley’s stance over transfer budgets and his unwillingness to support the Spaniard a major turnoff for him.
The SJP outfit offered Benitez a one-year contract on the same £6 million salary – with bonuses included – but Chinese Super League outfit Dalian Yifang are ready to double his salary.
Spanish football expert Guillem Balague believes the former Liverpool boss won’t be short of options and offers, and here is how he reacted to the announcement on Twitter:
I have the impression that for some unfathomable reason there was not real interest in keeping him. Including renewal offers with no real reflection on the work done, delayed answers and false promises.
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) June 24, 2019
Why fans are heartbroken by the development, new owners taking over would delight them, but it remains to be seen if takeover talks will be successful this time around given several disappointments that have come with such talks in the past.
Should the proposed £350 million takeover fall through, getting a new manager capable of keeping Newcastle in the Premier League on a budget could prove herculean, and it would be interesting to see how the saga goes on Tyneside.