Rafael Benitez leaves Chinese club Dalian by mutual consent

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Rafael Benitez
Rafael Benitez

Rafael Benitez has left Chinese Super League club Dalian Professional by mutual consent.

The Spaniard, who was appointed in July 2019 after his contract at Newcastle expired, cited the impact of coronavirus as the main reason for his departure.

Benitez said in a statement: “Unfortunately, like many other things in the last year, Covid-19 has changed our lives and our projects.

Rafael Benitez has left Chinese Super League club Dalian Professional by mutual consent.

The Spaniard, who was appointed in July 2019 after his contract at Newcastle expired, cited the impact of coronavirus as the main reason for his departure.

Benitez said in a statement: “Unfortunately, like many other things in the last year, Covid-19 has changed our lives and our projects.

“The pandemic is still here, among us, and being close supporting our families has been a priority when making this decision.”

Inevitably, Benitez will find himself linked with a return to the Premier League at a time when his successor at Newcastle, Steve Bruce, is coming under increasing pressure.

Frustrated by constant comparisons to Benitez’s popular three-year reign on Tyneside, Bruce retorted this week: “He was a world-class manager. Where did he finish (10th and 13th)? Is that success?

“We matched the mighty Rafa last year. We are in the bottom half of the Premier League and have been there for the best part of 15 years.”

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