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Rafa Benitez reveals he had big money offers to walk out on Newcastle

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'I had teams and agents talking to me with more money than here': Rafa Benitez reveals he could have walked out on Newcastle and stresses that staying is bad for his reputationRafa Benitez revealed that he turned down lucrative approaches from abroad However he says he stayed in hope of being given money to spend at Newcastle The Spaniard says he hasn't created a negative energy around the club

Rafa Benitez says he could have walked out on Newcastle for big-money offers elsewhere and admits that staying is a risk to his reputation.

The Spaniard's contract expires in the summer and, given his increasingly downbeat mood in recent weeks, it looks unlikely he will sign a new deal.

Benitez has revealed that he has turned down lucrative approaches - thought to be from China - in the vain hope of being given the financial backing he craves from owner Mike Ashley.

Rafa Benitez has revealed that he could have walked out on Newcastle for lucrative offers

'This club was an opportunity to be in the top 10,' he said when asked why he has not already quit.

'We couldn't save the team in the first year and then we won the Championship, so we said, "OK, now is the time (to invest)".

'Then you say the first year back in the Premier League is quite difficult but we finished 10th, "now is the time".

'Then it's the third year, and you try, you try, but…' Benitez sighed, before he added: 'I had teams and agents talking (to me) with more money than here.

'Still I want to do something here, I want to stay in England. I'm close to my family, the fans have been fantastic, so you try to do something properly.

'It's a challenge, but it's a risk. Yes, it's a risk. I will try to do my best to win every single game, but obviously it depends on the players that you have.' 

Benitez denied claims that his comments have created a negative energy around the club

Benitez said last month it would be a 'miracle' for Newcastle to survive. But he has rejected the suggestion his comments have created a negative energy around the club.

'I don't think so,' he said ahead of Saturday's trip to Chelsea. 'If you talk about the other teams at the bottom of the table, they are not as big as Newcastle United, a massive club with 52,000 fans at every game and 9,000 when you go away sometimes.

'The reality is that we have to compete in a division when we cannot compete against Bournemouth, who are spending money. That doesn't mean you are negative, just realistic.' 

Meanwhile, Benitez refused to comment on the investigation into Under-23s coach Peter Beardsley, who has now been suspended for a full year amid allegations of racism and bullying. 'I prefer to concentrate on Chelsea,' he said.


For more news relating to Chelsea, visit our sister site Chelsea Live.
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