Rafa Benitez signs contract extension at Newcastle

Rafael Benitez will remain as Newcastle United manager after signing a new three-year contract following their relegation from the Premier League.

The 56-year-old Spaniard took charge in March following Steve McClaren’s sacking but failed to keep the Magpies in the top flight.He had a break clause in his contract if Newcastle were relegated and was widely expected to leave the club.

“The love I could feel from the fans was a big influence for me,” he said.

Former Liverpool, Chelsea, and Real Madrid boss Benitez will have control over “all football-related matters” at the club, Newcastle said. Benitez’s decision hinged on the amount of funds he is given to strengthen the squad.

Benitez had a positive impact on Newcastle's play style.
Benitez had a positive impact on Newcastle’s play style.

“This is a huge club and I wanted to be part of the great future I can see for Newcastle United,” added Benitez. “The main thing for me is that I have assurances that we will have a strong team – a winning team.”

Benitez, who was sacked by Real in January, took over with Newcastle one point adrift of safety. Despite losing only three of his 10 matches in charge, the Magpies were relegated with one game of the season remaining.

He quickly became a fan favourite and home supporters begged Benitez to stay at St James’ Park, singing and chanting his name throughout the final home game of the season.

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