Newcastle have confirmed the appointment of Rafael Benitez as manager following Steve McClaren’s dismissal.
McClaren was axed as head coach on Friday morning and the club have acted swiftly to appoint a replacement, although Benitez takes over as manager rather than head coach in a change in structure at St James’ Park.
Fabio Pecchia, Francisco de Miguel Moreno and Antonio Gomez Perez have also joined the club and will link up with Ian Cathro and Simon Smith to form the ex-Real Madrid manager’s coaching team.
Benitez has agreed a three-year deal and there had been talk of a relegation clause prior to the confirmation of his appointment.
Newcastle have not revealed whether there is any ‘get-out’ clause in the event of relegation, but it is understood an opt-out option is available to the Spaniard.
Benitez told the club’s official website: “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.
“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. This is the reason why I’m going to ask for your total support to successfully complete this task.
“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!”