According to The Mirror, Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian are preparing a move for Rafa Benitez next summer – with several clubs in China believed to be ‘closely monitoring’ his situation at Newcastle.
They suggest that a salary of ‘up to £30m a year’ could be offered, but is this really a project that would appeal to Rafa? I’m really not so sure.
As we know, the gaffer is now in the final year of his contract on Tyneside, having failed to agree a new deal despite several rounds of talks with the club since May.
Tianjin Quanjian – who have Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato on their books – are currently managed by ex-Swansea boss Paulo Sousa, however The Mirror claim that they are ready to make a move for Rafa Benitez next summer.
Here’s a snippet from their piece on the latest interest from China, suggesting he could earn an ‘astronomical’ salary if he made a move to the Far East:
‘Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is a target for Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian next summer.
‘Top clubs in China have been closely monitoring the uncertainty over Benitez’s future.
‘And mid-table Quanjian, where the Portuguese former Leicester, Swansea and QPR boss Paulo Sousa has been in charge since last November, are prepared to wait for Benitez.
‘Chinese sides have been interested in Benitez for around 18 months and the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss could expect an astronomical salary in the Far East, possibly as much as £30m a year.’
He may be out of contract next summer – a situation that feels unlikely to change unless Ashley sells up – but I don’t see China appealing to him.
The money may be tempting, but he’d be away from his family in Merseyside and in a league that is hardly competitive – something that Rafa seems to crave after several years in England, Italy and Spain’s top leagues.