Benitez announces he is joining Dalian Yifang in China

Joe Williams

Rafael Benitez is heading to China after the former Newcastle manager announced he had joined Dalian Yifang.

The Spaniard’s Newcastle contract ended on Sunday, with Benitez saying he and the club’s hierarchy had been unable to find a shared vision for the future.

The 59-year-old is unsurprisingly back in work already, posting on social media on Tuesday that he has joined Chinese Super League side Dalian.

In a short video, the former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss shared the messaged “welcome Rafa Benitez” with the caption: “New Challenge, New Chapter”.

He then added: “After a long path, we start a new challenge. I am happy to begin this project with Dalian Yifang.”

Benitez officially left Newcastle on Sunday after talks over a contract extension ultimately failed to reach a successful conclusion, much to the fury of fans who had taken him to their hearts.

He can now add Dalian to a resume which started as a manager in 1993 and has taken in the likes of Real Valladolid, Osasuna, Tenerife, Valencia, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Napoli, as well as Liverpool and Real.

Benitez won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, while also securing European honours with Valencia and Chelsea.