Newcastle Announce Benitez’s Exit

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Newcastle United have announced that manager Rafael Benitez will leave the club when his contract expires on 30 June.

The club made the announcement on Monday in a statement released on their website.

“We have worked hard to extend Rafa’s contract over a significant period of time, however it has not been – and will not be – possible to reach an agreement with Rafa and his representatives.

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“Rafa’s coaching staff, Paco de Míguel Moreno, Antonio Gómez Pérez and Mikel Antia, will also leave the club on 30th June.

“We would like to thank Rafa and his coaching team for their efforts over the last three years and their significant contribution to what has been collectively achieved.

“We would also like to thank our supporters, players and staff for their patience during a period of uncertainty.

“The process to appoint a successor will now begin.”

There has been continued speculation about Benitez’s future prior to the club announcing his departure, with the former Liverpool manager receiving a £12m-a-year offer to take over as manager at Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang.

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Newcastle finished 13th in the Premier League last season as the Spaniard, who took over in March 2016, secured the club’s top-flight status.

The 59-year-old led the Magpies to a 10th place finish in their first season back in the Premier League.

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