Benitez Leaves Newcastle After Failing To Agree New Contract

Benitez Leaves Newcastle After Failing To Agree New Contract

Rafa Benitez will leave Newcastle when his contract expires on Sunday, June 30, the Premier League club have confirmed.

The 59-year-old had been in talks with the club’s bosses over a new deal for months, but they have failed to reach an agreement.

Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley was tasked by owner Mike Ashley to lead negotiations with Benitez, who also turned down a new deal last summer. His contract expires on June 30.

Benitez took over at St James’ Park from Steve McClaren in March 2016 with the club 19th in the Premier League. He could not save Newcastle from relegation but stayed in charge and guided the club to an immediate return to the Premier League, winning the Sky Bet Championship title.

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.

He was encouraged by owner Ashley, breaking the club’s long-standing transfer record to sign Miguel Almiron in January and was keen to be given the green light to sign players over the age of 26, which has been against club’s policy in previous years.

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