Rafa Benitez has a £20 million buyout clause in his current contract with Chinese side Dalian Yifang, according to the Daily Mail.
The report from the national outlet states that the Spaniard has “admirers” close to Arsenal, with the Gunners still on the look out for a permanent manager to replace Unai Emery, who was dismissed from his role with the club last week.
But it is understood that Benitez’s current deal in Asia includes an exorbitant release fee, and that the manager himself has little interest in leaving his current post just five months after moving to China.
Is Benitez likely to get the Arsenal job?
Truth be told, the prospect of Benitez becoming the next Arsenal manager has always felt like a long shot, especially given how recently he signed his £12 million-a-year deal over in China, but this looks to have killed off any chance of it happening for good.
£20 million is an awful lot of compensation to be paying for a manager, and given Arsenal’s reputation for being relatively conservative spenders in recent years, it’s not easy to imagine them pulling out such an exorbitant amount when there are other, cheaper options available.
Of course, if Benitez was the perfect man for the job you could perhaps justify it, but truthfully, he doesn’t look any better suited to it than other names that have been mentioned.
The Spaniard is renowned for a style of play that some may perceive to be negative, as per talkSPORT, and it’s difficult to foresee that kind of football going down well at the Emirates.
This release fee could prove to be a blessing in disguise.