Rafa Benitez leaves job at Chinese Super League club Dalian Pro
Benitez will not return to China
Former Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has left his position as manager of Chinese Super League Club, Dalian Pro.
The 60-year-old joined the club 18 months ago after his departure from Newcastle and had another season remaining on his contract.
However, with the new CSL season is due to begin in two months' time, Benitez, who is back at his family home in England, has decided not to return to China amid the continuing situation with Covid-19.
"Unfortunately, like so many things in the last year, Covid-19 has changed our lives and our projects," he said.
"The pandemic is still here, for all of us, and supporting our families has been a priority when making this decision."
A report by The Mirror claims Benitez had growing concerns about potentially leaving his family for an extended period of time because of the virus.
There is not thought to be any animosity between him and the club, however, with Benitez advising on potential replacements.
"We have tried to learn and understand a new culture and also to transmit a more professional, more European vision of football," Benitez added.
"I'm convinced we have left a structure and a methodology that will allow the project to go ahead successfully. Since we arrived, the first team has been rejuvenated and the foundations have been laid for the future, from the grassroots schools to the top.
"I say goodbye sadly under these circumstances but, at the same time, I am convinced that the future will be bright."