Former Chelsea manager tipped to replace Benitez at Newcastle

According to SkySports, Newcastle have drawn up a list of names to replace Rafael Benitez as the club’s new manager. The Magpies announced former Liverpool manager, Benitez will be leaving the club when his contract expires at the end of June.

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Newcastle confirmed Benitez’s departure in a statement on Monday, which read: “It is with disappointment that we announce manager Rafael Benitez will leave Newcastle United upon the expiry of his contract on 30th June 2019.

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“We have worked hard to extend Rafa’s contract over a significant period of time, however, it has not been – and will not be – possible to reach an agreement with Rafa and his representatives. “Rafa’s coaching staff, Paco de Miguel Moreno, Antonio Gomez Perez and Mikel Antia, will also leave the club on 30th June.

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“We would like to thank Rafa and his coaching team for their efforts over the last three years and their significant contribution to what has been collectively achieved. “We would also like to thank our supporters, players and staff for their patience during a period of uncertainty. The process to appoint a successor will now begin.”

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According to reports, former Chelsea manager Avram Grant is among the candidates the Magpies are eyeing as a replacement.  The 64-year-old currently works as technical adviser for Indian Super League side NorthEast United. He guided Chelsea to the Champions League final in 2008 but they were beaten on penalties by Manchester United in Moscow. He’s also had stints with Portsmouth and West Ham.

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Benitez leaves the St James Park after three successive seasons which saw him won the championship title with the team and also consolidating their status in the English top flight. After overseeing two mid-table finishes since their return to the top flight, Benitez wanted the tools for Newcastle to compete for a European qualification place and potentially lift a domestic trophy.

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However, the former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager has now chosen to leave the club at the end of the month. After overseeing two mid-table finishes since their return to the top flight, Benitez wanted the tools for Newcastle to compete for a European qualification place and potentially lift a domestic trophy. However, the former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager has now chosen to leave the club at the end of the month.

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According to SkySports Keith Dowie, the former Valencia manager decided to walk away after he realized he can’t achieve his dreams for the club.  “Rafa is too big a manager for Newcastle in its current guise and in terms of the way they’re currently run. “He wants to be pushing Newcastle to win trophies and get into Europe, whereas Newcastle in the last few years and in terms of expenditure want to remain in the Premier League.

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“With the exception of Miguel Almiron, the spending has been small; they haven’t been able to compete. That has really irked Rafa. Not only did he want a bit more to spend, he also wanted the freedom to sign older players. Rafa had to work so hard to sign Salomon Rondon on loan. “He wanted to sign him long-term but that doesn’t fit the mould of who the hierarchy want him to sign; they want players around 24, 25 with resale value.

“There has been a stand-off on a number of issues and the way Newcastle are run, it’s been very difficult to come to an agreement. “This will go down so badly on Tyneside. Rafa was paid very handsomely – at almost £6m a year, he was one of the highest paid managers in the Premier League – but it was about money to spend on players and the freedom in the transfer market.

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