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‘I Am Very Happy’ – Rafa Gives Verdict On Possible Premier League Return

As part of a Sky Sports panel for Monday Night Football, Rafa Benitez has opened up about his time in China and the chances of a return to the Premier League.

The Sun have published the following comments made by the Spaniard when asked by Jamie Carragher about his immediate plans:

“I must be very clear, there is no chance I would come back. I am very happy.

“They trust me. They have a lot of staff working in a big project. It’s a massive company.

“They want to create a legacy. We are working with players from six-years-old to the first team.

“We want to leave a legacy. It’s a great experience. I am learning a lot.”

These comments are not surprising in light of the recent revelations that there is a £20m buyout clause in his contract with Dalian Yifang.

He may not have much of an option but to stay in China if that news is accurate. However, we don’t think Benitez would give up on a project after only a few months in charge. Despite the clause, Rafa was always likely to have at least one full year in China.

He took over midway through this past campaign in the Chinese Super League. He was able to get Dalian Yifang into 9th place but had a tough patch to close the season in which they only won 2 of their last 10 games.

However, now is the time for Benitez to shine, and we think he is relishing the challenge of getting Dalian Yifang prepared for his first full season at the helm. He’ll likely want to have them pushing for the title.

He has two years remaining on his contract, and per the report on the buyout clause, it diminishes with each passing season. So we’ll likely hear a lot of talk this time next year of Rafa’s return to the Premier League as well.

Whether he sees out the full length of his deal or not, Rafa sees England in his future. This was how he followed up on his initial comments:

“Obviously in the future, I would like to return to the Premier League.”

We expect to see him back in the Premier League in the not too distant future, and we’ll continue to keep track of Dalian Yifang until that time comes.

19 comments so far

  • thereallowickmag

    Dec 9, 2019 at 10:25 PM

    Comment #1

    Repost. Missed the bus
    Anyone who things the low attendances/boycotts are not getting to Ashley need to give their heads a wobble.
    This latest stunt is blind panic. We were the most televised side outside of the top six last season. That was for one reason. The atmosphere and the desire of the fans.
    That is disappearing and the TV companies know that. Ashley is panicking lads.
    This will come back to bite him in the backside. I would be livid if I was a fully paying season ticket holder still.

  • Oldgit1

    Dec 9, 2019 at 10:30 PM

    Comment #2

    Mike Ashley has just said that all the money raised from the free half season tickets will be reinvested in new players in January, every last penny.

    Good news.

  • Munster Mag

    Dec 9, 2019 at 10:42 PM

    Comment #3

    Rafa looking well on TV. Interesting that they are talking 442 when so many sniff at it. Keeping door fully open to Everton, wow.

  • Throckley Gadjee

    Dec 9, 2019 at 10:56 PM

    Comment #4

    Maybe those of you who have season tickets but are boycotting the games should take up the free ticket offer…………..

    And keep that seat empty too 😉

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Dec 9, 2019 at 11:10 PM

    Comment #5

    He must be tempted to go something like this in a 4231.


  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Dec 9, 2019 at 11:18 PM

    Comment #6

    If you’re looking to go four at the back, but want to make sure you remain tight defensively, then something like this is rock solid, but can still pass it around.


    with maybe this forward line.

    St Max…….Almiron……..Joelinton.

    Not quite sure where you’d play Shelvey, most likely either him or Almiron in the hole behind Carroll.

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Dec 9, 2019 at 11:21 PM

    Comment #7

    No, don’t change the system and in any case the system posted by Ed/Neil wasn’t the one we used. pre-season and in the first match, we used 4-3-3 and it didn’t work, even though on paper a midfield three of Hayden-Shelvey-Longstaff should be a great blend, they were stepping on each other’s toes and hesitant.

    We have options within the system we currently play.

  • carltoon

    Dec 9, 2019 at 11:43 PM

    Comment #8

    Well I won’t be taking up the offer, I used to pay for two season tickets and non of the kids or grandkids would go.

  • Our Toon

    Dec 9, 2019 at 11:46 PM

    Comment #9

    System doesn’t need changing, the only reason people are discussing it is because of possession stats. Points are more important.

    Have to say it was really good seeing rafa on MNF, really impressive. The finer details to and depth of knowledge base, wow just wow. Throughly enjoyed it

    Unsurprisingly rafa himself said the type of players newcastle have the system that works best to get the best out of them players is……..the one we are playing now.

    We tried to change it and got tonked, looked ragged, awful and didn’t have any cutting edge. Stick to what works, it’s not pretty but add a few in the summer and then slowly change if needs be

  • Our Toon

    Dec 9, 2019 at 11:52 PM

    Comment #10

    As for the offer to fans, amazing isnt it that empty seats is having its impact, maybe more on pride rather than back pocket but still it all counts. I’ll return when Ashley leaves. You want the fans to come back, we will Ashley, however you must leave……that’s my condition!!

    It’s an embarrassing policy also, you have a die hard fanbase that has football in its blood, it’s the life and soul of the city yet you’ve managed to mishandle that love so badly that they’ve turned there back on attending but the love remains. You’re now essentially giving out freebies to make it look like you have a full stadium, how embarrassing for Ashley and for the club aswell as fans that our owner has managed to drive us to this

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Dec 10, 2019 at 12:01 AM

    Comment #11

    Yeah, I think those who have followed through with a pledge of “if Rafa goes, we go” have it about right, and no return till Ashley sells or demonstrably shows he can run the club right. It’s tough, because the side has character, but I think it’s the right stance. I truly love the away support though. It’s remarkable.

  • Our Toon

    Dec 10, 2019 at 12:22 AM

    Comment #12


    I had that stance before rafa joined, I used to be an arrogant so in so by suggesting others should follow suit as it’s in clubs best interest to boycott.

    That stance has completely changed, each to there own, we all do what we think is right and no matter what we all love our club. Those who go I do envy you, god I miss match days, never the same sat at home or in office watching on a stream or sky. The buzz, the atmosphere, the goosebumps…….argh!! I wont come back though till he goes.

    My message to bruce is if you want to fill the stadium then tell mikey to pack up and sell, I guarantee there will be a waiting list for season tickets if that happened

  • one fine day

    Dec 10, 2019 at 12:27 AM

    Comment #13


    Dec 9, 2019 at 10:25 PM

    Comment #1
    Re post. Missed the bus
    Anyone who things the low attendances/boycotts are not getting to Ashley need to give their heads a wobble.
    This latest stunt is blind panic. We were the most televised side outside of the top six last season. That was for one reason. The atmosphere and the desire of the fans.
    That is disappearing and the TV companies know that. Ashley is panicking lads.
    This will come back to bite him in the backside. I would be livid if I was a fully paying season ticket holder still.

    Absolutely this is panic ! window dressed by Ashley and his mates at KBA .
    They are rattled as the plan( to put a geordie in charge and bring back an old icon up front )thinking everyone would flock bag has backfired .This is no slight on Bruce by the way before anyone jumps.
    Lets not forget this has all stemmed from the 300 who stood outside at the arsenal game and got the ball rolling .

    If we had all had the gumption of genikai 2 years ago we could be now finally wiping the stains from the stadium and looking at a bright future.
    Sure the magpie group will be updating us all on whats going on in the not too distant future.

  • kc2012

    Dec 10, 2019 at 12:32 AM

    Comment #14

    Who’s that guy in the picture, oh it’s just that legend Rafa Benitez, you know that guy who’s the only manager in history to win the Europa League, UEFA super cup, the Champions league and the Fifa club World Cup.

    ‘Catchy punches his phone screen and runs back behind the sofa to stick pins in his Rafa Benitez voodoo doll’

  • lesh

    Dec 10, 2019 at 2:04 AM

    Comment #15


    As Jane’s watching your back, I’d best leave the idea of Ashley trying to split the fans, for another time.

    It’s interesting that despite years of Ashley refusing to take the advice of former manager’s, he’s suddenly taken notice of Bruce’s advice to reward fans’ loyalty. Bruce’s been well and truly set up as Ashley’s mouth piece.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Dec 10, 2019 at 2:05 AM

    Comment #16

    i think the crowd would return if we got Biesla, or stopped playing this 30% rubbish. who wants to pay good money to see a parked bus? these tactics are only acceptable when you have far inferior players like playing the top six or if youre s small team like burnley just happy to hang on as long as possible. its the same as terrorist tactics. a tiny army will be forced to hide and hit america with rapid attacks before running back to their hiding place. we arent a tiny club and we dont have bad players. it’s unnacceptable.

    maximin is going to be a big miss as his skills along with shelveys hollywood passes are one of the only things that make us watching.

  • lesh

    Dec 10, 2019 at 2:08 AM

    Comment #17


    Loved your post about Ashley committing all revenue from the free half season ticket offer to the transfer kitty.

    Your sarcasm’s probably skimmed over a few heads.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Dec 10, 2019 at 2:17 AM

    Comment #18


    No I don’t think so, I think most of us got it.

    We arnt stupid you know, to quote another blogger!

  • wartongeordie

    Dec 10, 2019 at 5:57 AM

    Comment #19

    #One fine day.
    Well said, Jabba trying to be clever is actually going to annoy the hell out of fully paying season ticket holders, hopefully the crowds will drop to 32,000 for Christmas fixtures and the ignorant media clowns will realise that its actually a protest rather than we are all poor and can’t affect a ticket.


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