Date: 4th July 2019 at 4:30pm
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Ex-Liverpool forward Ryan Babel finds it hard to believe that Rafa Benitez didn’t quit Newcastle United and join Dalian Yifeng for the money.

According to the Sun, Benitez has earned himself a £12million-a-year deal by joining the Chinese Super League side to double what he was earning at Newcastle before his contract at St James’ Park expired at the end of last week.

However Benitez claims that he isn’t in China for the money.

“I have had offers of greater financial significance during my career, but they weren’t the project I was looking for,” Benítez said on his official website.

“What I have found at Dalian is an incredible project that has arrived at the perfect time and this has been a major factor in my decision.”

Babel has previously been critical of Benitez’s management, blaming the Spaniard for his failed spell at Liverpool earlier in his career.

And his one-word reaction to those latest quotes from Benitez says it all about his relationship with his former manager.

“Lol,” the newly-signed Galatasaray forward said via his personal Twitter account on Thursday.

OPINION

Benitez will never admit that he went to China for the money – there’s no point pretending that he would ever admit to that. However when you are offered the chance to double your money to stay in football management, you will take it. Who else was Benitez going to join after his contract with the Magpies expired? Ignore the mess of Mike Ashley’s leadership for a moment and realise that there’s not much out there for a top manager like Benitez at the moment. He might as well go to China, where managers usually serve very short spells, and earn a bucket load of cash while waiting for a top job in Europe to become available again. Has Benitez gone to China for the money? It was surely a major factor in his decision to move there, even the most hardened of Geordie must admit that. He did want to stay at Newcastle but Ashley made that impossible for him. What’s wrong with going to China anyway? Some Premier League sides throw money around just as bad as some of the clubs out of the Far East.