Newcastle United ‘target’ opens up on ‘complicated’ situation that could decide summer transfer

Could this striker provide an alternative Ligue 1 option for Eddie Howe?

Newcastle United will have to see off competition from Premier League rivals Leicester City and Crystal Palace to secure a deal for French striker Ludovic Ajorque.

The 28-year-old frontman has played for the likes of Angers and Clermont Foot before finding a home with Ligue 1 club Strasbourg since moving to the Stade de la Meinau in the summer of 2018.

Ajorque helped Strasbourg to a French League Cup final win against Guingamp during his first season with the club and featured in their unsuccessful attempt to reach the Europa League group stages during the following campaign.

The 6ft 5in forward gradually found his feet in France’s top tier and has scored 28 goals and provided 12 assists in 71 Ligue 1 appearances over the last two seasons.

That provoked talk of a possible call-up to the France squad but Ajorque admitted that playing for Strasbourg made the situation ‘complicated’.

Speaking to World Eleven earlier this year, Ajorque said: “There are very good players in the France team and today I play in Strasbourg so it’s complicated to be there.

“Of course it’s pleasant, it means that my work is appreciated, especially by my own supporters. It just gives me even more confidence and even more desire to fight for them.”

His form for Strasbourg has attracted attention from a number of clubs across Europe and Football Insider have claimed Newcastle, Leicester and Crystal Palace are keen to secure a deal for the striker over the remainder of the summer transfer window.

The report has suggested Strasbourg president and former West Ham United midfielder Marc Keller has instructed an ‘intermediary’ to sell the player to any ‘interested parties’.

Ajorque currently has two years remaining on his contract with the Ligue 1 club.