UNITED KINGDOM, May 25 – Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United have struck a deal to see him remain as manager.
A three-year deal is expected to be announced later on Wednesday which will contain written assurances for the Spaniard on full control of player recruitment and budgets set for the summer and winter transfer windows.
Benitez was travelling to Newcastle from his home on Merseyside on Wednesday morning to complete the formalities before the news is made official.
The 56-year-old signed a three-year deal to become Newcastle boss back in March, when he replaced Steve McClaren, but the contract was reported to include an option to cancel at the end of the season.
Benitez was unable to keep the club in the Premier League, leading to doubts over whether he would stay, but he has now decided to stay on at St James’ Park after thrashing out a deal with Magpies owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley.
Ashley and Benitez spoke face-to-face for the first time following the Magpies’ stunning 5-1 victory over Tottenham on the final day of the Premier League season and negotiations have continued since then.
After the game against Spurs, Benitez said his heart was leading him towards staying on Tyneside to try and guide Newcastle back to the Premier League, and he admitted that the fantastic support from the club’s fans was also swaying him.
The former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss stated at the time: “I said I am quite open and I am quite pleased with everything, the staff, everything, now it’s just to be sure that we have to do what we have to do to be sure that we can go up if I stay here.
“They know, we have been talking. I have the same feeling as the fans, they want a strong team next season to be sure we go up again.
“The way and the ideas will not be difficult to have, to have similar ideas, but we have to sit down and make sure of everything.”