Former Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez has been appointed manager of Chinese side Dalian Yifang.

The Spaniard left the Magpies on Sunday after his contract expired, saying that the Premier League club “did not share his vision”.

He replaces Choi Kang-hee, who resigned on Monday “for personal reasons”.

“After a long path, we start a new challenge. I´m happy to begin this new project with Dalian Yifang,” said 59-year-old Benitez.

Benitez, who has also managed Liverpool, Chelsea, Valencia and Real Madrid, received a £12m offer to manage Dalian Yifang, tweeted a message welcoming himself to the club.

Benitez admits Newcastle’s prolonged takeover led to his decision to leave the club.

“It was a big problem in terms of my decision, I was waiting and I was asking for clarity and, like the fans, we didn’t know,” he said.

“Eventually, you have to decide. I could not continue in the same way, because I couldn’t see how to progress. It had to be clear to me, who was the owner, what would they do, and it wasn’t clear.'”

“When I came to Newcastle, they gave me the plans for the new training ground, I was talking to the architect about changing a few things and after three years they painted the walls,” he added.

“If you want to attract players, it’s about the facilities, the contract, the city, the way you treat them, the way you treat the agents.

He led Newcastle to a 13th place finish in the Premier League last season.

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