Ayoze Perez is predicting a “great future” for Newcastle United – if Rafa Benitez stays at St James’s Park.
Benitez is set for talks with owner Mike Ashley this week after guiding the club to the Championship title.
The pair will attempt to come an agreement over the way forward for the promoted club.
Benitez wants to significantly strengthen his squad in the summer transfer window.
But United’s manager will not demand a set figure amid claims the club needs to spend well over £100million to survive in the Premier League.
The 57-year-old said “we’ll see” when asked earlier last month if he would be in charge next season.
Perez – who scored in Sunday’s title-securing 3-0 win over Barnsley on Sunday – believes Benitez is fundamental to Newcastle’s future success.
“It’s very important he stays,” said the forward. “Under Rafa, I think the future will be very interesting.
“Let’s see what happens, but it could be a great future. He is very important for us now and next season.”
Ashley – who attended the Barnsley game with Keith Bishop, his advisor – congratulated Benitez and his staff after the trophy presentation.
The pair hadn’t met since last summer, when Benitez was persuaded to stay on and guide the club out of the Championship.
And both sides are keen to reach an agreement over the coming days so the summer’s work can begin.
Ashley has acknowledged the need for a Premier League-quality reinforcements this summer ahead of what will be a testing first campaign back in the top flight.
Benitez and managing director Lee Charnley oversaw a profitable summer’s player trading last year.
The club brought in a dozen new players – and recorded a £30million-plus profit.