Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez will be damaging his career if he walks out on them for a big money move to China, according to Daily Telegraph journalist Luke Edwards.
The Spaniard has mere days remaining on his current Magpies contract, and the Northern Echo reported recently that he has received a £12million-per-year offer to move to the Far East.
Edwards believes he would be moving purely for financial reasons: “I think the interest there is genuine, I think there’s always been interest from China to be perfectly honest,” he told talkSPORT [22/06; 12:28]. “If he goes to China he’s got to be honest about the reasons he’s going, and he’s not going for football reasons.
“He’s not going because he wants to challenge for silverware and be a serious manager. He’s going for money. Nobody goes for China for anything but money. It would diminish him in my eyes a little bit if he went to China. I can understand his frustrations, but to just lave and go and work in China – well there’s 12 million reasons why he’d be going and it’s all pound notes.
“I think he would be damaging his career if he went.”
This is an interesting take from Edwards and, while it might seem brutal, he’s got a point. Benitez’s frustrations at Newcastle are thought to be that the club don’t match his ambitions from a footballing perspective. But if he went to China it would be making a mockery of the reasons why he’s so disillusioned at Newcastle. Moving to China is a decision based on entirely financial reasons, not sporting ones. Benitez is thought to value football and competing at the highest level above everything else, so he would be damaging his Newcastle legacy if he made the switch to the Far East. Whether he’d be damaging his career or not would be a matter of perspective. He’d be earning huge money, but wouldn’t be competing at anything resembling the highest level. However, you could argue that West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini’s career hasn’t suffered at all for working in China, so this one probably remains open to debate.