DALIAN, July 2 (Xinhua) -- Spain's Rafa Benitez has been named Dalian Yifang head coach, the Chinese Super League (CSL) club said here on Tuesday.
Benitez replaces South Korean Choi Kang-hee, who stepped down for personal reasons on Monday, the club said.
Dalian are currently ranked 10th of 16 teams in the Chinese top flight with 17 points, 22 behind pacesetters Beijing Guoan.
Benitez, 59, who led Liverpool to the UEFA Champions League in 2005, succeeded Steve McClaren as Newcastle boss in March 2016.
After failing to prevent the Magpies from being relegated in 2015/16, he guided them back to the Premier League at the first attempt and has since won plaudits for establishing the side in the top flight on a meager budget.
However, the Spaniard was known to be frustrated with owner Mike Ashley's refusal to invest further in the team, and elected to leave the club last month upon the expiry of his contract.