There are plenty of Premier League clubs whose October safety net will look a little less secure now with news that Rafa Benitez is set to leave English shores to take over Chinese team Dalian Yifang.
It wasn't unexpected news after former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager officially left Newcastle at the weekend after he let his contract run out after over three years in charge.
While many Premier League clubs will have had their eye on the Spaniard, the contract offer from China was obviously too good to turn down, with him having signed for a reported €13.5 million per year.
He confirmed the news on his Twitter account this morning, with a short video looking ahead to the "New Chapter" chronicling his managerial career of 24 years from Real Valladolid to Dalian Yifang.
After a long path... We start a new challenge! I´m happy to begin this new project with Dalian Yifang. #ChinaSuperleague #China #DalianYifang #NewChallenge #NewChapter pic.twitter.com/YLwd46bpjh
— Rafa Benitez Web (@rafabenitezweb) July 2, 2019
Dalian Yifang were promoted from the second tier of Chinese football in 2017, and Benitez becomes their fourth manager since the start of 2018. Their star players include Yannick Carrasco, the 25 year old Belgian international who scored for Atletico Madrid in the 2016 Champions League final, and Napoli and Slovakia legend Marek Hamsik.
Newcastle fans were left outraged and devastated last months as Benitez didn't renew his contract with the club after failing time and time again to get reassurances from owner Mike Ashley over the investment needed to bolster the club's squad. Fans and pundits generally agreed that his work keeping the club in the Premier League over the last three years on a shoestring budget has been phenomenal.
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