Rafa Benitez Reaches Preliminary Agreement to Coach LaLiga Side Celta Vigo

Rafa Benitez is preparing for a homecoming of sorts…

The 63-year-old Spanish professional football manager and former player who most recently managed Premier League club Everton, has reached a preliminary agreement to coach LaLiga side Celta Vigo, the Spanish club has announced.

Rafa Benitez Benitez takes over the vacant coaching position after Carlos Carvalhal left the club earlier this month by mutual consent.

Benitez has agreed a deal that’ll keep him at the club until June 2026.

“Real Club Celta has reached an agreement in principle with Rafa Benítez so that the Madrid-born coach can lead the team in this very special year and two more campaigns,” a club statement said. “Both parties are confident that the signing will take place in July, coinciding with the start of the team’s preseason.”

Benitez had been out of a job since being dismissed by Everton in January 2022 after just six-and-a-half months in charge.

The former Valencia coach is best known in England for guiding Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005.

He also guided Chelsea to the Europa League crown in 2013 and Newcastle United to promotion to the Premier League in 2017.

Benitez, who won two LaLiga titles and a UEFA Cup with Valencia, has also managed Inter MilanNapoli and Chinese Super League side Dalian Professional.

He last coached in Spain after taking over Real Madrid in the summer of 2015, although the Spanish giants relieved him of his duties six months later.

Benitez inherits a Celta team that was saved from relegation on the final day of the season with a 2-1 win over Barcelona at their Balaidos stadium.

The club finished 13th in the table, three points ahead of relegated Real Valladolid.

The 2023-24 season will revolve around the club’s centenary.

Benitez is unlikely to have Celta star Gabriel Veiga next season.

The Spanish midfielder expected to leave this summer.

A reported target of Liverpool, Chelsea and Napoli, Veiga, 21, is under contract until June 2026 but has a €40m release clause that clubs are willing to meet.

Casemiro Helps Lead Manchester United Past Newcastle United to Claim Carabao Cup

Casemiro is celebrating new hardware…

The 31-year-old Brazilian professional footballer helped Manchester United end their six-year wait for silverware as they beat Newcastle United 2-0 to win the Carabao Cup at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.Helps

CasemiroUnited last won a major trophy in their 2017 Europa League campaign, but looked comfortable in their display against Eddie Howe‘s side as Casemiro’s header and a Marcus Rashford goal gave Newcastle too much to overcome in their first League Cup final appearance since 1976.

“It has been an amazing period, first trophy of the season, but we want more — it is not enough for this club, we want more and we need more because our standards demand more,” Bruno Fernandes said. “For me it was about winning trophies and finally we did it. I am satisfied but I want more. I want much more.”

There was little in the way of clear-cut chances in a frantic beginning, but United opened the scoring on 33 minutes with the first of two quickfire goals as stalwart midfielder Casemiro sent half of Wembley into pandemonium. Luke Shaw delivered a stooping ball in from a wide free kick and the Brazil international expertly glanced a header into the far corner. He was deemed to have been played marginally onside after a VAR check.

With the momentum in their favor, United doubled their lead six minutes later as Newcastle defender Botman guided Rashford’s effort into his own goal. Wout Weghorst burst forward and played Rashford in behind. The 25-year-old’s shot from a narrow angle was diverted up and over the stretching Loris Karius by Botman as United tightened their grip on the trophy.

The goal was initially ruled an own goal on Botman, but later on Sunday it was credited to Rashford, marking the England international’s first goal in a final in his seventh time playing in one.

Weghorst threatened again in first-half stoppage time with a well-struck effort from distance, but Karius — who made his first start since February 2021 — was equal to it.

Newcastle returned in the second half with an improved yet toothless performance, with Joelinton coming closest but having his shot well-blocked by Lisandro Martinez, as United comfortably saw out the victory.

“No complaints with how we played, obviously the scoreline doesn’t say that, and that’s where football can be cruel,” Newcastle manager Howe said. “I’m sorry we couldn’t deliver for the fans today.”

Newcastle’s fans, who had created a sea of black and white with give-away plastic flags at the stadium’s west side during the closing minutes, drifted away before the trophy presentation. The club has now lost each of their past nine matches at Wembley, a run that began in the 1974 FA Cup final.

By contrast, Man United‘s fans were in full voice as Bruno Fernandes raised the trophy, which they hope will be the first of many under Erik ten Hag.

United have enjoyed an improved season in their first term under the former Ajax manager. They’re third in the Premier League table and still in the Europa League draw. Ten Hag is the first manager at Old Trafford to win silverware since Jose Mourinho.

Newcastle United Signs Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon

Bruno Guimaraes is crossing the English Channel

Newcastle United has completed the signing of the 24-year-old Brazilian professional footballer from France’s Lyon in a €50.1 million deal.

Bruno GuimaraesIt’s the team’s third signing since being taken over by a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in October.

The move for Guimaraes follows the arrivals of defender Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid and striker Chris Wood from Burnley.

The club said in a statement: “Newcastle United are delighted to confirm the signing of Brazil international Bruno Guimaraes on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

“The 24-year-old midfielder joins the Magpies for an undisclosed fee from Lyon, where he has been one of the outstanding performers in Ligue 1 over the past two seasons, and will wear shirt No. 39 — the number of the taxi once driven by his father.”

Lyon said in a statement later on Sunday that the deal was worth €50.1m, including €8m in performance-based clauses, with a 20% sell-on fee.

Sources have told ESPN that Newcastle offered Guimaraes a £120,000-a-week contract — four times his wage at Lyon.

“Bruno is a hugely exciting talent and has been one of our primary targets so I’m delighted to secure him,” manager Eddie Howe said. “He strengthens the group immediately ready for the challenge ahead.

“He has been one of the standout performers in France and is a full international for Brazil so I have no doubt our supporters will really enjoy watching him. We look forward to welcoming him to the club on his return from international duty.”

Guimaraes began his career at Atletico Paranaense before joining Lyon in January 2020 for €21.5m.

The midfielder also has three international caps for Brazil and has been away with Tite‘s squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Paraguay.

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