‘I can’t think of any reason to go to China other than money’, says the talkSPORT pundit
Tony Cascarino believes Rafael Benitez has undermined his own argument for leaving Newcastle United by making a mega-money move to the Chinese Super League.
Benitez officially departed St James’ Park on Sunday after three years in charge of the Toon, and wasted little time in moving on to a new role.
The Spaniard has signed a deal to become the new manager of Chinese club Dalian Yifang, where he will be paid a reported £12million-a-year.
Benitez said he left Newcastle because he and owner Mike Ashley did not ‘share the same vision’ for the team.
But, by moving to China, Cascarino says he has ‘diluted’ his own message, as there is ‘no other reason’ to move to the Far East other than for money.
“I’m disappointed that a Champions League-winning manager and a Spanish league winner going to manage in China,” said the former Chelsea striker on Wednesday’s Sports Breakfast.
“We know he’s made a hell of a lot of money in football over the last 20 odd years as a manager, and rightly so.
“I don’t believe Newcastle’s offer wasn’t anything short of decent, a lot of money and a lot of incentives within the contract.
“I’m sure Newcastle pushed the boat out to make Rafa the highest paid manager they’ve probably had in their history.
“But to turn around and say they didn’t have the same vision and then go to China, I think you’ve just watered down your argument.
“He could give a number of reasons to why he doesn’t want to be the manager of Newcastle, but to end up going to China, it just feels like he’s diluted any argument he’s got.
“And it’s not being patronising or critical of China, it’s just not where the best football is being played.
“If he went to Paris Saint-Germain, I would have understood totally. The project in France in trying to make them Champions League winners, I get that, and I would say the same for many other clubs, but not to China.
“I can’t think of any reason to go to China other than money. There isn’t one, for me.”