Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez will leave Newcastle after failing to agree on a new contract. The Spaniard will leave the club when his contract expires on June 30 after failing to get a contract extension with Mike Ashley, owner of Newcastle.
The club reportedly worked long and hard over the contract for Benitez but they did not manage to come to an agreement. In an official statement, the club expressed their gratitude for the Spaniard’s service and also thanked the players, fans, and staff for bearing with them during the phase of uncertainty.
Fans are especially distraught with this news as Benitez was well liked and led to the Magpies being promoted to the Premier League from the Championship in 2017. Newcastle has maintained their position in the league for the following three seasons that Benitez was in charge, finishing 7th in their 2017 season and 10th in their last season.
It is with disappointment that we announce manager Rafael Benítez will leave Newcastle United upon the expiry of his contract on 30th June 2019.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) June 24, 2019
With the news of the manager’s leaving now official, the club has begun their hunt for a successor. There have been a host of names linked to the club with Garry Monk being at the forefront. Monk was recently sacked by Birmingham. Apart from Monk, Burnley manager Sean Dyche has also been linked with the club as well as former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton also being reportedly a contender.
There have also been reports of Mike Ashley thinking of selling the club, with takeover interests surfacing from Sheikh Khaled and the Bin Zayed group. The future of the club remains to be seen. Benitez is now linked to a move with the Chinese Super League team Dalian Yifang.