After 18 months in China, Rafa Benitez has announced this morning that he has left his role at Dalian Pro.
As he explains in a statement below, he’s been forced to put family first due to COVID-19 fears and is set to return home.
Here’s what he’s had to say:
“Unfortunately, like so many things that happened last year, the COVID-19 virus has changed our lives and our plans.
“Regrettably, starting from today, my coaching staff and I will not continue to coach at Dalian People’s Professional Football Club.
“It was a wonderful experience, for which I would like to thank all the team leaders, coaches, medical staff and club staff as well as our players.
“Thank them for putting their commitments first, and for their support during our tenure and their extremely hard work.
“For all of us, the epidemic is still going on. When this decision was made, Supporting our family has always been our priority.“
The Spaniard had a 31.6% win ratio from 38 games in China, but will now return to his family home in the Wirral.
It’s also believed he will continue to work with the CSL club to help them find a replacement and is said to have left the club on good terms.
Here’s what Rafa Benitez told The Athletic last month regarding his next move in management: “We’re keeping an eye on Europe and the Premier League and for sure that will be my priority.”