With just nine games left in the season, Newcastle United have turned to former Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez to save their season following Steve McClaren’s sacking.

The Toons are currently languishing in the 19th position in the Premier League table, and with just nine games left to go, will have to put in some top notch performances to save themselves from relegation. They have recruited a reputed manager to do just that, as Rafa Benitez officially took charge of the club on Friday.

“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,” said Benitez in his statement, according to the Guardian.

“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. 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!”

Newcastle hand Benitez a lot of money and a unique task

The Spaniard’s lucrative three-year contract at Newcastle United is believed to be worth at least four times as much as outgoing manager Steve McClaren’s. Benitez also reportedly stands to earn around 2 million pounds as bonus if he manages to keep the Toons in the Premier League this season.

However, his contract allegedly has a relegation exit clause, wherein Benitez can leave Newcastle United next summer if they find themselves in the Championship. This presents a very unique task for Benitez, as he needs to make sure Newcastle United stay in the Premier League. Otherwise he is under no obligation to stay, and it could just end up being a brief interlude in his managerial career. However, if the Spaniard does manage to pull it off, it will definitely be a noteworthy addition to his resume.

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