Rafa Benitez believes the bosses at Newcastle didn't feel the same about his vision for the club. Photo: Ed Sykes/Reuters

Rafa Benitez has blamed his departure from Newcastle on the club’s lack of ambition.

The Spaniard, 59, wanted to stay at St James’ Park but felt a lack of investment by owner Mike Ashley would always hold the club back.

‘It became increasingly clear to me that those at the top of the club did not share the same vision,’ said Benitez.

‘I wanted to stay, 100 per cent. I wanted to develop a project, to be competitive, to compete in the cups and to be as close as possible to the top of the league, but you have to have the tools.

‘If you don’t, then you suffer, because you’re at the bottom of the table, every point is massive and you know that a mistake could mean relegation. That would be a disaster for the city.’

He added in The Times: ‘I’m sad. Newcastle has been my home. If Liverpool is where my family live, then Newcastle will always be my other home.’

Benitez is set to accept a £12million-a-year offer to take over as manager of Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang this week.

Daily Mail