However, the 59-year-old, now in charge of big-spending Chinese side Dalian Yifang, says it's “time to move forward” in a new interview.
Benitez told FourFourTwo: “I waited until the last minute this summer (to make a decision on his future), but I don’t want to create more mess around the situation by talking more about it. I don’t want the fans thinking ‘Rafa is talking too much about Newcastle’. Now’s the time to move forward.”
Benitez – who guided Newcastle to the Championship title in 2017 – left the club after failing to agree a new deal with owner Mike Ashley. He guided United to a 13th-placed finish in the Premier League last season and was succeeded by Steve Bruce.