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Benitez arrives at St James' Park ahead of expected Newcastle appointment

Rafael Benitez has arrived at St James' Park as he edges closer to becoming Steve McClaren's successor at Premier League strugglers Newcastle United. 

Newcastle dismissed Steve McClaren on Friday, a club statement apologising for allowing the managerial uncertainty that has engulfed the club to drag on. 

Following days of intense speculation that he would succeed McClaren, Benitez duly arrived at Newcastle's stadium several hours after the former England boss was sacked. 

The Spaniard has been out of work since he has axed by Real Madrid in January and 19th-placed Newcastle have 10 games to preserve their top-flight status.

Next up is Monday's visit to leaders Leicester City, with Newcastle having lost McClaren's final game in charge – a 3-1 home defeat to AFC Bournemouth.