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Rafa Benitez - "I wanted to stay"

Rafael Benitez releases statement

Fulham FC v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United

Rafael Benitez wasted no time in releasing a statement, after his contract expired with the club. Benitez stated he "wanted to stay", however the club did not match his ambitions.

You can read the statement in full below:

Newcastle United will quickly find out just what a grave mistake they've made in letting Benitez walk away. The Spaniard was the only man to take the club forward, his connection with the fans was second to none, his tactics kept the club in the Premier League for two successive seasons.

Without Benitez at the helm, Newcastle United will undoubtedly suffer. Manager-less, vision-less, direction-less, unfortunately those three things add up to one word, relegation.