Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley close to agreement after talks on future at Newcastle

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley have met for talks over the way forward for Newcastle United.

Benitez and managing director Lee Charnley left the club's training ground by helicopter yesterday for a meeting with Ashley.

And the Gazette understands that the discussions over Benitez's future, and United's summer transfer strategy, went well.

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Benitez and Charnley sat down with owner Ashley away from Tyneside to discuss a way forward for the promoted club.

Newcastle's manager spoke of the pair "putting their ideas together" after Sunday's 3-0 win over Barnsley.

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley

“I already have an idea of what a successful club could look like,” said Benitez.

“I think also he has an idea. I think we have to put both ideas together. I think it is the right time to talk when everything is fine.

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“We will be in contact to be sure we share the same ambition about how to improve, how to be competitive and to do the right things for everyone.”

Ashley was at St James's Park to see Newcastle secure the Championship title.

The billionaire congratulated Benitez and his staff after the match.

There has been no comment from Newcastle on the talks between Benitez and Ashley.

Ashley is understood to be keen for the club to hit the ground running in the transfer market this summer ahead of the club's return to the Premier League.

Benitez is looking to strengthen his squad in a number of positions.

Newcastle finished a point ahead of Brighton and Hove Albion, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa on the final day of the season.

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