Could ex-Newcastle, Liverpool & Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez be heading back to England?

Rafa Benitez’s China dream could be on the verge of collapse with sponsors Wanda revealing they will pull out of investing in the Spaniard's club Dalian Yifang.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 6:05 am
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool FC at St. James Park on May 04, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Benitez left Newcastle in the summer after three and a half years on Tyneside, penning a three-year deal with the Chinese Super League outfit.

But his China ‘project’ has been thrown into doubt with the news that the Wanda Group – who have been bankrolling the club – intend to pull their investment, and instead may start a new club in the city, or buy out third tier rival club Dalian Chanjoy.

And while the language barrier has caused Benitez all kind of problems on the other side of the world, according to the Wall Street Journal, the Spaniard could be about to learn his biggest lesson in China.

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Their report states: “Superstar soccer manager Rafael Benitez, who made an unlikely move to China last summer to take charge of the Dalian Yifang club, may be learning the fundamental lesson of Chinese business: Real estate runs the show. After a round of media speculation, property giant Dalian Wanda announced on New Year’s Day that while the company would continue to invest in soccer in Dalian, a port city in the country’s northeast, it would no longer invest in Dalian Yifang as it had in the past.”

Former Newcastle United striker Salomon Rondon’s future could also be thrown into doubt. Benitez signed the Venezuela international from West Brom in the summer.