Rafa Benitez has written to Chris Hughton congratulating him on Brighton and Hove Albion’s promotion – and he’s hoping to shake his hand in the Premier League next season.
Hughton’s league leaders secured promotion on Easter Monday.
Rafa Benitez And Newcastle need a maximum of five points to join Brighton in the Premier League.
If Huddersfield Town fail to beat Fulham at home this afternoon, a win over Preston North End at St James’s Park on Monday night would be enough to see United secure promotion.
Hughton, the last man to guide Newcastle into the Premier League, is hoping his old club joins Brighton in the top flight.
Benitez this week sent a letter to Hughton.
Asked if he had spoken to Hughton, Benitez said: “Not really. I was congratulating him, but now is not the time.
“I have met him many times. Hopefully we can go up with him and meet him next year.”
The Magpies’ Preston fixture is followed by a visit to Cardiff City on Friday night.
Newcastle wrap up their campaign with a home fixture against Barnsley on May 7.
“We have to play three games in this mini-league, so we will see what happens,” said Benitez, whose side were beaten 3-1 by Ipswich Town on Easter Monday.
“The other day, we didn’t play the level we normally play,” said Benitez.
“We have to give credit to the team then push and push.
“I don’t think there’s a complacency.
“Ipswich was a bad game and we gave them a chance and they scored.
“We gave them another chance. These things are what we have to analyse and that is what we have done, we have to do that every week.”