CONFIRMED: Newcastle appoint former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez as Steve McClaren’s replacement

Newcastle United have confirmed the appointment of Rafael Benitez as their new manager.

The Magpies moved quickly to bring in the former Chelsea and Liverpool boss after taking the decision to sack Steve McClaren on Friday morning.

Benitez has been without a job since been axed by Real Madrid in January just seven months into his Bernabeu reign.

He has penned a three-year deal with Newcastle and takes over a team sitting 19th in the Premier League, one point adrift of safety, following a run of three straight defeats.

The Spaniard’s first game in charge will be against Premier League leaders Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Monday night.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley will regard the 55-year-old’s decision to join the club as a major coup given his impressive CV.

Benitez won the Champions League and FA Cup during a six-year spell at Liverpool, while he also tasted Europa League success during a short-term stay at Chelsea in the 2012/13 season.

He has also won two La Liga titles, with Valencia, while he has managed Inter Milan and Napoli, as well as Spanish giants Real.

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