Rafa Benitez’s future at Newcastle United has been plunged into doubt, as the Spaniard has received a huge contract offer from Chinese club Dalian Yifang.
Benitez’s current deal on Tyneside expires at the end of June and he has received a one-year contract offer to remain at St. James’ Park, though this is thought to be short of his expectations.
Discussions with Magpies owner Mike Ashley have failed to progress and now The Times are reporting that the Spaniard has received a £12m a year contract offer to manage in the Chinese Super League.
Ashley met with Benitez last month to discuss the manager’s future at the club, but has so far been unable to agree terms or provide assurances over the spending of the transfer budget.
Complicating the situation further is the potential takeover of Newcastle and Ashley’s reluctance to make financial commitments in the wake of a possible sale. The Magpies are understood to be in talks with two interested buyers.
The impending sale of the club is hindering Newcastle’s ability to sign new players which is only fuelling the manager’s reluctance to remain in charge.
Should the Spaniard accept the deal from Dalian Yifang, it would see him become the highest paid manager in the Chinese Super League, overtaking former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro, who earns a reported £11m a year from Guangzhou Evergrande.
Incidentally, Guangzhou Evergrande had offered the manager’s job to Benitez in the autumn of 2018, but he declined the opportunity to stay at St. James’ Park.
Dalian Yifang currently sit 11th in the Chinese Super League table and despite signing Napoli’s Marek Hamsik in February, they have lost six of their 13 games so far this season.
Benitez’s reluctance to accept an offer from a Chinese club in the past suggests he favours remaining in the Premier League, but if Newcastle’s takeover situation is not resolved promptly, they face losing the Spanish manager for good.