The Daily Mail says Benitez has insisted to friends that he would have stayed at Newcastle for at least a year had he felt able to trust the board, despite claims to the contrary by club owner Mike Ashley.
Benitez was always insistent that his preferred option was to remain in England, if possible with Newcastle, while Ashley has now claimed he was always set on China.
Ashley has said Benitez asked for a 50 per cent pay rise, to which he knew Newcastle couldn't agree.
Sources close to Benitez have already confirmed he asked for a £8million basic salary, an increase of £2m.
The discrepancy possibly comes in the form of bonuses, which could have seen his suggested salary rise above £9m.