Rafa Benitez signs three-year deal with Newcastle

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

Rafael Benitez has replaced Steve McClaren as manager of Newcastle, with the Spaniard signing a three-year contract with the struggling north-east club.

Benitez, who was sacked as manager of Real Madrid earlier this season, has been handed the job of attempting to steer Newcastle to Barclays Premier League survival, with the club second-from-bottom heading into the weekend.

He said in a statement released by the club: "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."

Benitez's appointment followed swiftly on from the dismissal of McClaren, who was relieved of his duties on Friday morning.

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