West Ham dealt blow in landing Rafa Benitez with £20million buyout clause in Spaniard’s contract

West Ham dealt blow in landing Rafa Benitez as it emerges the Spaniard has a world-record buyout clause of £20million at Dalian Yifang

  • Rafa Benitez signed a £12million-a-year deal in the Chinese Super League in July
  • The Champions League winner resigned as Newcastle boss after last season 
  • He has been linked with moves to West Ham Utd and the vacant role at Arsenal
  • Dalian Yifang have protected their acquisition with a world-record release clause

Premier League clubs wishing to bring Rafa Benitez back from China would have to pay a world-record buyout for a manager in excess of £20million, Sportsmail understands.

The Spaniard is high on the list of potential replacements for under pressure West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini and has admirers close to Arsenal.

However, Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang have protected themselves against an approach for their manager — who only signed his £12m-per-year contract in July — by including a clause that would see them significantly compensated.

Rafa Benitez joined Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang in July after leaving Newcastle 

The Spanish Champions League winner has a £20million buyout clause in his contract

The Spanish Champions League winner has a £20million buyout clause in his contract

Sportsmail has been told that Benitez has little intention of leaving just five months into the job and it would be politically difficult for him to do so with two years still to run on his deal.

It is likely, however, that the cost of releasing Benitez will decrease entering the final year of his contract.

But the current situation will frustrate the hierarchy at West Ham, who have long since courted the Champions League-winning manager and were within hours of appointing him in 2015 before Real Madrid swooped.

Benitez takes a training session in July in Guangzhou - his deal there is worth £12million-a-year

Benitez takes a training session in July in Guangzhou – his deal there is worth £12million-a-year

It also takes him out of the running at Arsenal, who would not meet the £14.5m release clause for Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, let alone anything in excess of that.

Benitez, who quit Newcastle in the summer, wants to return to the Premier League in the future but will remain in China ahead of the new season, which kicks off in March. 

His team finished ninth in the table following the final round of matches last weekend.


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