Newcastle United have released an official statement to confirm that manager Rafa Benitez and his coaching staff are set to leave the club after contract talks have collapsed. The statement marks the end Benitez’s 39-month stay with the Magpies. The Spaniard was appointed in Mar 2016 with the club deep in relegation woes and were relegated in May that season. He then took the club back to the Premier League after winning the 2016/17 Football League Championship.
He has since led the club to comfortable finishes in the Premier League (10th and 13th), despite financial constraints at the club.
Newcastle United was Benitez’s third stint in England. He managed Liverpool for 350 games between 2004 and 2010, where he led them to a famous UEFA Champions League Final victory in May of 2005. As an interim manager, he also led Chelsea to 2013 UEFA Europa League victory. Both clubs have, of course, won those respective trophies again this season.
In his illustrious career, Benitez has also managed Napoli, Inter Milan and Real Madrid among others. He is likely to be sought after in England and in his native Spain.
For the Magpies, it is back to the drawing board. Jose Mourinho has emerged as surprise early favourites to take the role whilst Garry Monk, Mikel Arteta and former boss Chris Houghton are also amongst the names give shorter odds by the bookmakers.