Former Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has confirmed his appointment as the new boss of Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang.
Benitez, 59, officially left the Magpies at the end of June after failing to agree a contract extension. The former Liverpool, Inter and Real Madrid coach claimed the Premier League outfit did not share his "vision" and brought an end to a three-year stay on Tyneside.
Clubs in England and across Europe are said to have expressed interest in the Spaniard's services, but a lucrative switch to China emerged as his most likely destination. Benitez announced the move to Dalian in a post to social media and succeeds Choi Kang-hee after the former South Korea international stepped down citing personal reasons following a brief stint at the helm.
Dalian will reportedly pay the Champions League and La Liga winner GBP 12 million per year. He takes over with the club sitting 10th in the 16-team CSL, 22 points adrift of top spot.
The vastly experienced Benitez, who guided Newcastle back to the Premier League in his first full season in charge after he was unable to save it from the drop in the previous campaign, has never previously coached outside Europe.