Benitez to stay on at Newcastle

Rafael Benitez will remain with relegated Newcastle United after signing a three-year contract with the club.

The Spaniard joined the Magpies in March, but was unable to prevent the North East giants from being relegated.

Benitez, who began the 2015-16 season as Real Madrid boss, had a clause in his contract which allowed him to leave the club should Newcastle lose their top flight status, but he has instead committed to help the club secure promotion from the Championship.

"The love I could feel from the fans was a big influence for me," he said.

Key to the 56-year-old's decision to remain with the St James' Park outfit was the promise that he would have control over "all football-related matters", and that he would be afforded funds to strengthen his squad.

"This is a huge club and I wanted to be part of the great future I can see for Newcastle United," said Benitez.

"The main thing for me is that I have assurances that we will have a strong team – a winning team."

Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley added: "I believe with Rafa as manager it gives us the best possible chance of returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking and delivering success for this football club beyond that.

"It is clear that Rafa has connected deeply with the club's supporters and we do not underestimate the role they have played in his decision to stay."

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