Newcastle's Rafa Benitez

Newcastle could lose their most important asset to China

Rough weekend for Newcastle

It’s been a crazy weekend for Newcastle, as the Championship leaders suffered a big shock against lowly Bristol City on Saturday.

Fans will have turned up to St James’ Park expecting a simple win against the relegation strugglers, but it was Bristol City who started the match on fire.

Goals from Aaron Wilbraham and David Cotterill had the visitors 2-up after 21 minutes, and a major upset was on the cards.

But Newcastle rallied after the break. An own goal from Korey Smith gave them hope in the 59th minute, and Rafa Benitez saw his Magpies level the match through Ciaran Clark with eight minutes on the clock.

The draw allowed Brighton to leapfrog Newcastle into top spot by a point.

Newcastle & China

After the surprise against Bristol City, Newcastle fans will wake up on Sunday to reports their most important asset could be off.

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It’s claimed that Chinese clubs are ready to make Rafa Benitez the highest paid manger in world football. The Sunday Mirror report:

Two sides are willing to offer the Spaniard a staggering ­£30million-plus-a-year deal if he leaves Newcastle in the summer.

The £600,000-a-week salary would far eclipse the £11m a year that ex-Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas is on with Shanghai SIPG and the £4m a year that ex-England manager Sven Goran Eriksson is paid by Shenzhen.

Having slogged it out in the Championship, there doubts over whether Benitez is motivated by money to an extent he’d leave Newcastle at the end of the season.

Yet, the money on offer is ludicrous, and no one would blame Benitez if he took any deals which come his way.