Former Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is on the brink of returning to management, with Sky Sports reporting that he is set for a job in China.

The Champions League winner will take charge of Dalian Yifang, which had been rumoured when it was confirmed last week that he would be leaving the Magpies.

And in an interview with the Times, Benitez has spoke candidly about his emotional exit from the club.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

The Spaniard thanked the Newcastle fans again, whilst citing the board’s lack of ambition as the reason for his departure.

Benitez is now a lifelong member of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust, which has seen a massive rise in members since his departure. You can join NUST by going to:

Rafa Benitez will always be welcome in Newcastle

An honorary Geordie, Benitez is hoping that Newcastle have a brighter future. He also refused to close the door on a possible return.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“Newcastle is what they’ve [the fans] had since they were kids,” he told the Times.

“They must continue to support it. Their commitment, their passion has been so good for me. I tell them ‘thank you very much, you are in my heart’.

“Hopefully they will be successful and, you never know, maybe we will see each other again in the future.”

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

With Benitez set to sign with a new team and Newcastle’s ownership situation unclear, there is no chance of us meeting in the near future.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

But in a few years, when things have hopefully changed and Benitez has conquered China, maybe, just maybe, we could see him back in the St James’ Park dugout.

But for now, that’s just a dream. All we can say right now is thank you, Rafa. The pleasure was all ours.

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