Newcastle United have announced that Rafa Benitez will be leaving the club next week.
"It is with disappointment that we announce manager Rafael Benitez will leave Newcastle United upon the expiry of his contract on June 30, 2019," an official club statement began.
"We have worked hard to extend Rafa’s contract over a significant period of time, however it has not been - and will not be - possible to reach an agreement with Rafa and his representatives.
"We would like to thank Rafa and his coaching team for their efforts over the last three years and their significant contribution to what has been collectively achieved."
Benitez has been in charge at St James' Park since March 2016 and gained plenty of plaudits for keeping the Magpies in the Premier League with limited resources.
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News of his departure has hit Newcastle fans hard - and club legend Alan Shearer was quick to vent his frustrations on Monday afternoon.
"A world class manager. A manager who performed so well in very difficult circumstances. A manager who understood the fans," he tweeted.
"Thanks and good luck @rafabenitezweb you were brilliant for the Toon. #SHAMBLES."
It's clear that Shearer isn't the only one disappointed with Newcastle's failure to tie Benitez down, because his tweet quickly went viral, picking up over 8,000 likes in just 45 minutes.
There are certainly going to be a lot of unhappy fans this evening and it's unclear how well the team will do next season with a different manager at the helm.
It's reported that Garry Monk is favourite to take the job, following his dismissal from Championship side Birmingham City last week.
Mikel Arteta is another front runner, while Jose Mourinho has also been linked.
With Newcastle's situation further complicated by Mike Ashley's attempts to sell the club, Premier League survival will likely be the most important target for the next boss, whoever that might be.News Now - Sport News