Rafa Benitez has been confirmed as Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang’s new manager, and in his interview with the Times, he stated that money was part of the reason for going.
However, he also stressed that he did not want to leave Newcastle, and their plight, for another struggling Premier League side, and that none of them would be as big as the Magpies.
Speaking to Times reporter George Caulkin, Benitez said: “After Newcastle, it makes no sense to be fighting again at the bottom of the table.
“I don’t think you can find a team in the the bottom ten bigger than Newcastle in terms of potential and structure and everything. Why do I have to wait for that when I have a chance to build something [at Dalian Yifang]?
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“At the same time, you cannot be lying; it’s good money.”
Newcastle fans would have hoped for a takeover and Rafa return
In fairness, there are not many people in the world who would be able to turn down the amounts of money offered by the Chinese Super League right now.
But Toon fans will have hoped Rafa would take a short sabbatical and see what develops on the potential Newcastle takeover situation, before committing to a new position.
With blame from the Geordie faithful being placed firmly at the door of Mike Ashley, it will be interesting to see if any of his friends use Rafa’s words against him in the coming days.
Richard Keys has already taken a swipe at Benitez, and the Newcastle fans, following his departure, and time will tell if the other ususal suspects come out to try to deflect the blame away from Ashley.