An exclusive in The Mirror reported over the weekend that Rafa Benitez will be offered a huge £10million-a-year deal to manage Chinese super-league giants Shanghai SIPG when his contract expires next summer – but NUFC fans have been told not to worry about this one.
It’s obviously a very real concern that Rafa’s contract is up at the end of the season – so we do have every chance of losing him – however The Chronicle has insisted that a move to China seems highly unlikely.
They claim that he’s had offers from China in the past, but has been reluctant to move – having moved back to England two years ago to ‘work closer to home’, with his family still living on Merseyside after his long spell with Liverpool.
The Mirror claim he’d double the ‘£5.5m-a-year salary’ he’s currently receiving at Newcastle, however the following snippet from The Chronicle makes it quite clear that his next move won’t be to China:
‘There are reports suggesting Rafa is being offered £10m to leave NUFC and move to the Chinese Super League.
‘With everything going on at NUFC it’s be natural to worry But Rafa has had offers from China in the past and has spoken about his reluctance to move there.
‘He came back to England with Newcastle because he wanted to work closer to home and his set-up of living in the Wirral on Merseyside and travelling to Tyneside and working there throughout the week works well for him personally.
‘Of course, given the way things are going, there’s every chance he might now renew his contract and leave when it’s up at the end of the season, but it’s highly unlikely he will leave right now to go to China.’
January is going to be huge and it will be essential that we stay up if we’re to keep the Spaniard at St James’, but I really can’t see him going to China.
The Chinese super-league may be paying big money and attracting some big stars as a result, however you get the feeling it’s never been about how much money he’s being paid on Tyneside. It’s about the ambition (or lack of it) from a certain Mike Ashley.