The Spaniard has failed to agree fresh terms with the Magpies so will depart after just over three years in charge
Manager Rafa Benitez will leave Newcastle when his contract expires at the end of June, the Premier League club have confirmed.
In a statement, the Magpies expressed their disappointment at failing to keep hold of the Spaniard, who took his place in the St James’ Park dugout just over three years ago.
Talks over a new contract have been taking place since the end of last season, though fresh terms could not be agreed between the club and Benitez, 59.
“We have worked hard to extend Rafa’s contract over a significant period of time, however it has not been – and will not be – possible to reach an agreement with Rafa and his representatives.”
Benitez guided Newcastle to a 15th place finish last season, seven points clear of the bottom three to ensure the Magpies’ Premier League survival for a second successive campaign.
First taking charge on Tyneside in March 2016, Benitez failed to keep Newcastle in the top flight but remained in charge for their 2016/17 Championship season.
He guided the club back to the Premier League as second division champions, and a year later completed a remarkable job to secure a top 10 finish.
Newcastle confirmed Benitez’s coaching staff, Paco De Miguel Moreno, Antonio Gomez Perez and Mikel Antia, will also leave the club.
“We would like to thank Rafa and his coaching team for their efforts over the last three years and their significant contribution to what has been collectively achieved,” the statement continued.
“We would also like to thank our supporters, players and staff for their patience during a period of uncertainty.
“The process to appoint a successor will now begin.”
Early front-runners to succeed Benitez include Garry Monk, who recently left Birmingham, Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe, and Mikel Arteta, the Manchester City coach.
Former Newcastle striker and talkSPORT pundit Micky Quinn reacted to the news on Twitter.
“Well I feared the worst, and its happening Rafa leaving @NUFC,” he wrote. “They offered him a one year contract and no assurances,Rafa is a World Class Manager he loved his time at the club and its another sad and embarrassing day for this big club.”
Gary Lineker also took to social media to comment on Benitez’s impending departure, while Magpies legend Alan Shearer had earlier slammed the club for the ‘complete and utter chaos’ that led to the Spaniard’s exit.
Shearer wrote in The Sun: “It looks complete and utter chaos and the lack of communication from the club is embarrassingly bad.
“Their world-class manager can walk away in a week’s time for nothing.
“But the only thing official we have heard from the club this summer is, ‘We are putting season ticket prices up five per cent’ and ‘This is our new home kit’.
“Why can’t anyone come out and say what the situation is with Rafa Benitez, as well as the proposed takeover, instead of just saying ‘no comment’?
“Where is the respect for the thousands and thousands of loyal fans?
“There is not a jot of thought for them even though they are the lifeblood of that football club.
“They have been there a lot longer than Mike Ashley – and will be there long after he has gone.