Rafa Benitez
Benitez back in the Premier League on Tyneside. Getty

Rafa Benitez has been named as Newcastle United manager following the sacking of Steve McClaren.

The former Liverpool, Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss takes over at St James' Park with immediate effect, having signed a three-year contract.

Benitez has also brought in his own backroom team with Fabio Pecchia, Francisco de Míguel Moreno and Antonio Gómez Pérez joining him on Tyneside.

"I have the pleasure to confirm I have committed to a legendary English club, with the massive challenge of remaining part of the Premier League," Benitez said. "It will be a challenge not just for me and my staff but for the players, the club and the fans.

"All of us must push together in the same direction and with the same target in mind. This is the reason why I'm going to ask for your total support to successfully complete this task.

"Personally, it means my return to the Premier League, closer to my home and my family. I can't be happier. C'mon Toon Army! The club and I need your total involvement!"

Benitez returns to the Premier League six years on from leaving Liverpool, having returned in the 2012-13 season for a brief stint as manager at Chelsea, winning European honours with both sides.

He takes over with Newcastle rooted second from bottom in the Premier League, a point away from safety with 10 games of the season remaining.

His appointment comes hours after the dismissal of Steve McClaren, whose reign in charge lasted just nine months. Coaches Paul Simpson, Alessandro Schoenmaker and Steve Black have also now left the club following the arrival of Benitez's backroom team.

Managing Director Lee Charnley said: "I am very pleased to welcome Rafa Benitez to the club. In Rafa we have, without doubt, secured the services of one of Europe's top managers.

"He has managed some of the most successful teams at the very highest level of the game and we are proud to now have him as our manager. Our sole focus now is to give our full support to Rafa, his coaching team and the players in order to secure our status in the Premier League."