After a run of just one win in nine games, Rafa Benitez and Dalian Yifang finished their season on a high on Sunday. They defeated Beijing Renhe 2-0 at home to finish the season in ninth place.
So it was somewhat of a successful first season for Rafa in China as he’s brought them up the table since joining and they’ve finished a couple of places higher than last season.
This season was always going to be about Rafa setting a foundation for next year. Though knowing Rafa, he’ll not be happy with how they finished this campaign with just two wins in their last ten games.
It seems almost certain that Benitez will get a second season at Dalian Yifang despite interest from Premier League clubs like West Ham. Craig Hope with Daily Mail is reporting that Rafa has a £20m buyout clause in his contract if he were to leave Dalian Yifang after this season.
— Craig Hope (@CraigHope_DM) December 3, 2019
It is highly unlikely any club in the top five leagues in Europe would pay that amount to bring the Spaniard aboard. More importantly, for Newcastle fans, it’s doubtful that Rafa will come back to the Premier League this season for another team. That would just be too soon.
The report also states that Benitez is committed to Dalian Yifang and was not looking to leave after only five months in China. It is also expected that the buyout clause diminishes with each passing season, so it is only at this exorbitant amount for this season.
Benitez will be hard at work to get his new club ready for his first full season in charge. The 2020 Chinese Super League will kick-off in March next year.
Rafa has two years remaining on his contract which reportedly pays him £12m a year. He’ll be just 61-year-old when his contract ends and we doubt he’ll stay in China any longer than that. Who knows what the future may bring.