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Newcastle are reportedly in talks to sign Ludovic Blas, but they face competition from Premier League counterparts Watford. The Frenchman has been dubbed ‘better than Mohamed Salah’ by a current team-mate.

Newcastle are said to have opened talks with Nantes midfielder Blas as they look to assemble a squad to get them out out of a relegation dogfight.

Established talents Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood have joined the club so far for £12million and £25m respectively.

But now the Toon’s Saudi-backed board are ready to look further afield to add a splash of quality to the side.

According to the Daily Star, Newcastle and Watford have both opened talks with the 24-year-old, who has scored eight goals this season in all competitions.

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There is also said to be interest from Ligue 1 outfit Lille and a number of Bundesliga teams.

Former Liverpool midfielder Pedro Chirivella claimed earlier this season that he rates Blas higher than the likes of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

The Spanish midfielder left the Reds for Nantes back in 2020, and was a member of the squad that stormed to the Premier League title that year.

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“When it comes to pure talent, I rate Ludovic Blas above all others,” Chirivella told French magazine So Foot.

“I played with Coutinho, Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, I know what they are capable of.

“And when I see what “Ludo” is doing in training or in games, he has nothing to envy them when it comes to talent.

Blas as often been deployed as an inverted right-winger as part of a three-man frontline.

But he can also lead the line when required or play in the no. 10 role.

Blas still has two years left to run on his contract at Nantes, and while a large bid would no doubt be tempting for Les Canaris, they know he is only going to get better.

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