The BBC’s Simon Stone has now confirmed that Rafa Benitez has received a £12m offer to join Chinese club Dalian Yifang – backing up claims from the Times earlier today.
Stone admits that there is a chance the Spaniard will opt against a move to China and wait for another offer, ‘from Newcastle or elsewhere’, however decision time is now fast approaching with just 12 days left until his current deal expires.
That said, I can NOT see him leaving for China – no matter how much they offer him.
Yes, the fact we’ve allowed the situation to drag is a joke, leaving us open to losing him to any club willing to back him, but I’d be shocked to see him leave for the Chinese Super League – even if he’s being offered huge money.
Here’s a few reasons why I just can’t see it happening:
- He’ll want to stay in one of Europe’s top leagues and manage in a competitive league.
- £12m may be a huge offer, but I’m quite confident he values being around family (who are settled in the Wirral) above money.
- On the subject of family, he stated in a end-of-season interview that his daughters were going to University soon – something that could leave his wife home-alone in Liverpool if he moved abroad. When the offer from China isn’t attractive for footballing reasons, I don’t see him picking money over family when he’ll already be comfortable financially after 20 years at the top in club management.
- Money is the only thing the Chinese League can offer him – yet that’s the one thing Mike Ashley seems to be prepared to offer him, with it being claimed that his current deal earns him £6m per year; making him one of the most well paid bosses in England. Money clearly isn’t the issue for him on a personal level.
- He seems to prioritise ‘projects’ and seems to enjoy a challenge. Going to China and being given huge money to spend in an uncompetitive league does not give him either of those things.
- Guillem Balague told the Chronicle in April that Rafa Benitez had already rejected TWO huge offers from China and Saudi – offers that would’ve made him one of the ‘best paid managers in the world’. His stance may have changed slightly now Ashley’s failed to agree to his demands, but I see him waiting for a more suitable job (for football and family reasons) before accepting any offer from the Middle-East.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from confident he’s staying on Tyneside as things stand. He must be fed up by the situation at St James’ Park and I believe he is fully prepared to walk away unless Mike Ashley changes his tune or a takeover happens, however I don’t see Dalian Yifang’s lure of £12m being enough.