By 90Min
August 19, 2018

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez is reportedly a summer target of Chinese Super League team Tianjin Quanjian.

The Mirror report that the Chinese club are monitoring the Spaniard's situation on Tyneside, with Benitez in his final year of his contract with Newcastle. A number of other Chinese clubs are also said to be interested in Benitez.

Former LeicesterSwansea and QPR boss Paulo Sousa is currently in charge of Quanjian, with the Portuguese manager having taken the helm last November.

Fred Lee/GettyImages

Benitez has indicated previously that he would be happy to spend up to a decade at St. James' Park should he be given certain assurances, with the 58-year-old seeing the Magpies as a long-term project.

However funding for transfers remains a fundamental issue for Benitez during his tenure and the Spaniard is yet to sign a new deal.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is known to keep a tight control over spending, and has made few exceptions during Benitez's time at the club. The Magpies recorded a profit of more than £20m this summer.

Chinese teams are believed to have been interested in Benitez for the last 18 months, and the already well-paid manager could expect a significant pay increase should he move to the Far East - with some reports suggesting he could earn as much as £30m a year.

Fred Lee/GettyImages

The newspaper quoted a source 'close' to the Chinese club's setup, who said: “Tianjin Quanjian could be interested in Rafa [Benitez] at the end of the season when he would be free as things stand.

“Clubs in China are still monitoring his situation, especially with him not signing a contract. A manager here can lose two games and be out, so any of the top clubs could be interested.’’

It is expected Benitez will still see out the remaining year on his contract at Newcastle, even should he not sign a new deal - a small relief to Newcastle fans.

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