Former Real Madrid and Liverpool manager, Rafael Benitez has signed a three-year contract extension with Newcastle United, after concluding a lackluster season which saw the team sink into relegation and out of the premier league.
The club said the Spanish will be armed with a large transfer budget in order to lead the club’s attempt to make an instant return to the Premier League.
Benitez failed to keep New Castle up at the end of a ten-game stint as manager last season and had initially told the club he would not stay on if they went down.
Benitez had a change of heart earlier in the month, and indicated he would be willing to stay on if he received assurances from Mike Ashley, owner of the club.
The adulation he has received from the club’s supporters has played a huge part in persuading Benitez to drop down to the Championships for the first time in his career, but the fact there were also no other offers from Premier League clubs helped Newcastle keep him.
Benitez has been given complete control over recruitment and has also been promised a large transfer kitty in order to rebuild the side this summer.
Graham Carr, Newcastle’s chief scout, will be leaving the club in the next few weeks as Benitez wants to put his own scouting network in place.
Ashley has also told Lee Charnley, the club’s managing director, to ensure Benitez is allowed to reinvest the money received from player sales, which could be a huge windfall.
Newcastle are likely to sell Moussa Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum, Daryl Janmaat and Andros Townsend this summer and would expect to net around £40 million for the quartet.
Benitez has been drawing up a list of transfer targets over the last week and will hope to move swiftly to land at least one before the start of the European Championships next month.