Rafa Benitez is to leave Newcastle United

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The club announced in a statement: "It is with disappointment that we announce manager Rafael Benítez will leave Newcastle United upon the expiry of his contract on 30th June 2019".

The world-famous coach has used all his skill and ingenuity to keep Newcastle in the top flight, on a tight budget.

The 59-year-old could not prevent the St James' Park club from being relegated but they won the 2016-17 Championship title to secure an immediate return.

"We have worked hard to extend Rafa's contract over a significant period of time", the statement on the club's official website revealed.

Fresh terms had been mooted, but no agreement has been reached and a parting of ways will now take place.

"Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer reacted by saluting Benitez on Twitter, while closing his post with "#Shambles".

That will nearly certainly be knocked back, which leaves the other name to have featured prominently in the early discussions at St James' Park, Steve Bruce, as the early front runner.

Henry gets victor as France beat Brazil
France were much-improved after the half-time interval, and grabbed the lead with their first shot on target in the 52nd minute. Amandine Henry got on the end of Amel Majri's long free-kick for the victor .

Benitez took over in 2016 with the club mired in a relegation battle.

Newcastle United are to begin the search for a new manager after confirming Rafael Benitez will leave the club.

Benitez wanted greater control of Newcastle's recruitment process, including the freedom to sign the players he wanted regardless of their age or potential resale value.

Manager Benitez had been in negotiations with the club over an extension to a three-year stay defined largely by the Spaniard's frustration at Newcastle's transfer activity.

Venezuela play Argentina in the Copa America quarter-finals on Friday and presumably once he is out of the competition, Rondon will be looking to quickly get his future sorted at club level.

Dalian Yifang are believed to have made him an offer to join them for two seasons with a salary of 13.4 million euros for each year.

Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta is leading the early betting odds to be Benitez's replacement, with former Norwich boss Chris Hughton also in the mix for a second stint at Newcastle.

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