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CONFIRMED: Rafa Benitez will be managing in the Championship next season

SoccerBy Colm Hayes
Rafa Benitez has signed a three-year deal with Newcastle
Rafa Benitez has signed a three-year deal with Newcastle

The Spaniard has signed an initial three-year contract with the Magpies.

Newcastle United have confirmed that Rafa Benitez will remain as the club's manager, despite the Magpies' relegation to the Championship.

The club broke the news on their Twitter account this evening:

Benitez signed the three-year contract on Wednesday afternoon, committing his services to the Tyneside outside until 2019.

The most interesting piece of news from the deal keeping the former Liverpool manager at the club is that he "will have day-to-day responsibility for all football-related matters at the club" - not something any of his recent predecessors could claim to have had.

Following the announcement, Benitez told the club's official website: "I am extremely pleased to be staying at Newcastle United.

"The love I could feel from the fans was a big influence for me in my decision to stay, as was my relationship with Lee Charnley and all the staff.

"This is a huge club and I wanted to be part of the great future I can see for Newcastle United."

Managing director Lee Charnley added: "When we brought Rafa to the club in March, we knew he was a phenomenal manager and everything we have seen from him since has only served to reinforce that.

"We are therefore delighted to have secured his services for the next three years and I believe with Rafa as manager it gives us the best possible chance of returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking and delivering success for this football club beyond that.

"It is clear that Rafa has connected deeply with the club's supporters and we do not underestimate the role they have played in his decision to stay.

"He has captured the hearts and minds not just of the fans, but of everyone who has had the pleasure of working with him at the club thus far.

"As a world-class manager we had no doubt in our minds as to the importance of retaining him at Newcastle United."