Former Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez has been appointed as the new manager of Newcastle United, following the sacking of Steve McClaren.
The former England manager was appointed as Newcastle boss in a three-year deal last June, but a defeat at home to Bournemouth on Saturday, which left Newcastle second last in the table, proved to be his last match as Magpies manager.
The club’s managing director, Lee Charnley, said: “I would like to thank Steve personally for his services to Newcastle United. He is a man of integrity and class and he has conducted himself with great dignity during this difficult time.
“Steve worked tirelessly to try and bring success to Newcastle United. He has the utmost respect of all the players, staff and management and he leaves with our very best wishes and sincere thanks.
“We feel that a change is now needed in order to give the Club the best possible chance of securing its Premier League future. A further announcement on a successor to Steve will be made in due course.”
Rafa Benitez, who previously managed Liverpool and Chelsea, has made a return to the Premier League after parting ways with Real Madrid on January 4th this year. He joins the Magpies on a three-year contract.
In a statement on the club’s website, the Spaniard said: “I have the pleasure to confirm I have committed to a legendary English club, with the massive challenge of remaining part of the Premier League. It will be a challenge not just for me and my staff but for the players, the club and the fans.
“All of us must push together in the same direction and with the same target in mind. This is the reason why I’m going to ask for your total support to successfully complete this task. Personally, it means my return to the Premier League, closer to my home and my family. I can’t be happier. C’mon Toon Army! The club and I need your total involvement!”