Rafa Benitez set for talks with Mike Ashley over summer plans after Newcastle win Championship title

The Magpies added the title to their promotion after their win over Barnsley was coupled with Brighton dropping points against Aston Villa meaning they return to the top flight top of the pile

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Despite only just having secured the Championship title Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is already looking to the future.

The Magpies added the title to their promotion after their win over Barnsley was coupled with Brighton dropping points against Aston Villa meaning they return to the top flight top of the pile.

Benitez, who was unable to halt the club's slide out of the top flight 12 months ago, has restored Newcastle to the big time at the first attempt and he will now seek assurances from owner Mike Ashley over a fresh rebuilding programme.

"I will meet him next week, but it's always important for him, for us, to feel the love of the fans and the passion in the stadium. I have already an idea, I think he has an idea. Now we have to put both ideas together and hopefully it will be fine this week.

"We will be in contact, but the main thing is to be sure that we both share the same ambition about how to improve, how to be competitive and how to do the right things for everyone."

Benitez has established himself as a folk hero on Tyneside and despite listing Champions League glory with Liverpool and La Liga success at Valencia among his honours, he admitted his latest achievement was also special.

Asked where it ranked, he said: "It's difficult to say because [I have been a manager for] so many years, but then you appreciate it more when you are getting older and then you feel the emotion around the city, around the stadium, everywhere.

"Sometimes you can win with a very good team and it seems that it's easy, but in this case when you play 46 games in a very difficult season after going down...

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Newcastle are back at the first attempt (Getty)

"We were talking about the stats for teams which have been relegated, so to do it and to do it in style today and the way that we did during the whole season, that is really, really emotional and I am really proud of that.

"The atmosphere today means a lot. If we want to be stronger in the future, it is really important to have everybody together united."

Additional reporting by PA

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