Rafa Benitez's £6m buyout clause at Newcastle expires… but it could cost MORE to poach him

The Newcastle manager’s contract contained a set fee – the equivalent of one year’s salary – which any club would have to pay if they wanted to hire him.

But that is no longer valid now Benitez, 58, has entered the last 12 months of his three-year deal.

Instead, clubs wishing to nab the Spaniard would have to negotiate a compensation package with Toon owner Mike Ashley – and sources insist he would demand in excess of £6m.

The terms of the contract Benitez signed in May 2016 also stated that he would have to pay Newcastle £6m himself if he quit.

And that aspect has NOT changed despite the fact he is now into the last year of his deal.

Benitez believes he has been hamstrung by the clauses which were written into his contract two years ago and has since sacked the agent who negotiated it.

The ex-Liverpool and Real Madrid boss is increasingly unhappy at Newcastle because of Ashley’s lack of investment.

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He has turned down the offer of a one-year extension to his contract, as well as a new five-year deal.

As things stand, Benitez is likely to stay in charge this season and then walk away for free next summer.

Newcastle have only signed three players so far in this transfer window – Martin Dubravka, Ki Sung-yeung and Kenedy – and have spent just £4million.

Speaking after Tuesday night’s 2-2 friendly draw at Hull, he said: “Is the current squad good enough for what we need? I don’t think so.

“It needs additions, that is clear. It is clear what we have to do.”

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