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Three Newcastle United players that could join Rafa Benitez in China

Rafael Benitez, manager of Newcastle United, looks on prior to the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Newcastle United at Craven Cottage on May 12, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

Pre-season began on Thursday for Newcastle United, yet Rafa Benitez and star man Ayoze Perez are no longer at the club.

Rafael Benitez the head coach

Not long after leaving Newcastle United, it didn't take Rafa Benitez long to take up another job as he opted to make a move to the financial hotbed that is China.

As reported by the Telegraph, Benitez has taken up a managerial role at Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang, where he will be earning a reported £12 million a year. 

When Benitez's departure was announced there was obvious anger towards owner Mike Ashley, but another question was raised as to whether players will follow suit.

 

Well, Ayoze Perez has already done so, with the versatile attacker making a £30 million switch from Newcastle to Leicester City, as reported by BBC Sport. 

But could more players follow suit, and could some potentially follow Benitez to China and specifically his new club, Dalian Yifang? Well, here are three players that could do so: 

Miguel Almiron - Following the departure of Perez, the last name Newcastle fans would want to see depart the club is their record-signing Almiron. The 25-year-old has already been linked away from the club, with the club willing to sell him for £35 million amid interest from Real Madrid [The Mirror].

Newcastle striker Miguel Almiron takes on the Southampton defence during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton FC at St. James Park on April 20, 2019 in...

When it comes to China, money has spoken before, and it could do so again. If a big-money offer comes in, it seemingly looks like those in the Newcastle boardroom simply cannot resist but accept the offer. Added with that, a number of South American stars have switched to China in recent years, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Almiron follow suit. 

Yoshinori MutoA signing that hasn't worked out yet. Muto has played in Asia before when he played in the J1 League in Japan. Given his first season struggles on Tyneside, parting ways with the forward wouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Playing in China would be something different for Muto, but he has played in England, Germany and Japan during his career, so he is well accustomed to playing in different types of leagues. 

Christian AtsuIf truth be told, a chunk of Newcastle supporters would perhaps like to see the departure of their winger, who only scored one goal last season and failed to provide an assist. A player like Atsu moving to China for big-money fits and regardless of where he ends up next season, a move away from St James' Park perhaps suits both parties. 

Christian Atsu of Newcastle United (30)  during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Newcastle United at Craven Cottage on May 12, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

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