Date: 19th June 2019 at 5:31pm
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Eleven days. That is all that remains on Rafa Benitez’s contract as of Wednesday, June 19, and whether the fan favourite Spaniard remains at Newcastle beyond that is looking increasingly questionable.

Negotiations with Mike Ashley and Managing Director Lee Charnley have failed to offer the gaffer the assurances he has been longing for, and now Sky Sports understand Dalian Yifang are willing to make the former Liverpool and Real Madrid head coach the best-paid manager in the Chinese Super League.

Allegedly, the team owned by the Dalian Yifang Group are prepared to part ways with South Korean Hang-heui Choi after just 15 matches, as the 60-year-old has taken just 1.27 points per game on average since taking up the Blue Hawks’ hot seat in February.

Should they do so, they hope Benitez accepts their offer of an annual salary of £12million – £7million more than he currently earns at St James’ Park – and Sky believe the one-time Champions League winner is considering the proposal.

Ashley and Charnley still have time to step up their best offer and give Benitez the guarantees that he will have a greater freedom to sign players aged over 26, but the proposed takeover by Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan may see that offer never see the light of day.

Not that too many Newcastle fans are concerned by Dalian Yifang’s approach, though, as some fail to see Benitez moving to China…

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