Who is Ludovic Blas? Newcastle United and Watford linked with £15m Nantes midfielder

Two Premier League sides competing for French youth international who has been compared to Mo Salah.

The January transfer window continues at pace and the latest name to be linked with a move to Newcastle United is Nantes midfielder Ludovic Blas.

The 24-year old, who has been compared to Mo Salah, is also understood to be a target for United’s Premier League relegation rivals Watford.

Reports today have said both clubs are “in talks” with the player and could look to complete a deal before the end of this month.

Here is everything you need to know about the player and what has been reported:

Who is Ludovic Blas?

Nantes' French midfielder Ludovic Blas (L) is challenged by Lille's Mozambican defender Reinildo during the French L1 football match between Lille LOSC and FC Nantes at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, near Lille, northern France on November 27, 2021

Ludovic Blas is a 24-year old attacking midfielder who plays for French Ligue 1 side Nantes.

Blas began his career with Ligue 2 side En Avant Guingamp, where he made over 100 appearances, before moving to Nantes in 2019 for a fee in the region of €7 million.

He has been in fine form this season, making 19 appearances and scoring seven goals in all competitions for Les Canaris who currently sit ninth in Ligue 1.

Although traditionally a winger, Blas can also operate as a wide forward in part of an attacking three.

Blas, who is of Martiniquais decent, has represented France at Under 17, Under 19 and Under 20 level - winning 14 caps and scoring one goal for the Under 20 side.

He was also part of the France Under 19 team that won the UEFA European Under-19 Championship in 2016 where he was named part of the Championship Team of the Tournament.

Will Ludovic Blas sign for Newcastle United?

The Star have reported that both Newcastle United and Watford are in talks with the Nantes midfielder.

The player has a market value in the region of £15 million (via Transfermarkt) but still has two years remaining on his contract with the Ligue 1 side so it would likely take a much higher fee to prise him away.

Newcastle United have already spent a combined £37 million in this transfer window to sign striker Chris Wood from Burnley (£25 million) and full-back Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid (£12 million).

It is believed that the club’s current priority will be to strengthen in central defence so any deal for Blas in this window is likely to come nearer the end of the month if at all.

That could give Watford, who Newcastle face in the Premier League this weekend, the opportunity to get in ahead of their Premier League relegation rivals and beat them to the player’s signature.

What do the fans think about Ludovic Blas signing for Newcastle United?

Reaction to the rumours have been largely positive on social media.

@AndyRee08158526:“Believe it or not I'm a Newcastle supporter exiled in Central Brittany, I am also a Guingamp season ticket holder, Blas left Guingamp after we were relegated to Ligue2, he was in that season our most consistent player, better than Marcus Thuram who went on to the Bundesliga.”

@AndySlaughter:“I’ve watched 3 minutes of him on YouTube and now we MUST sign him.”

@nufcchazo2: “I signed him in my career mode for newcastle and he was class so i’m all for it.”