NEWPORT County AFC are keen to swoop for defender Darcy Blake but fear they’ll be priced out in the battle to land the Wales cap, the Argus can reveal.

The Gwent-born 25-year old became a shock signing for the Exiles just before the close of the emergency loan window after Premier League Crystal Palace – who spent £400,000 on Blake – agreed to cancel his contract.

Blake signed non-contract forms with his local club in order to return to full fitness and it is understood he’s on a fraction of the wages he’s enjoyed in the past, not even earning big money relative to the other Newport players.

Capped 14-times by Wales and once a crowd favourite at Cardiff City, Blake’s pedigree for League Two is undeniable.

And manager Edinburgh hasn’t entirely given up hope of convincing Blake to stay at the club in the longer term.

“The first thing was just getting him to the club, even as a non-contract signing not everyone would’ve expected that to be entirely realistic,” he said.

“But we did get him here and I know he’s enjoying himself here.

“Any manager with a player of that quality, he’s going to want to keep him. With a pre-season under his belt, Darcy would be an immense talent at this level.

“He’s had a heads up, if you like, about what we are doing as a club and how we operate; he’s had a chance to see it first hand.

“We know what football is like and we’re aware the grass is often greener. Darcy should and probably will join a higher division club, but that shouldn’t and won’t stop us fighting to keep him and convince him to stay here.

“Finances will play a part, definitely, but Darcy is a homeboy, he loves being with friends and family and that could be in our favour.

“Sometimes playing good football and being happy in your home life go hand-in-hand.”

Meanwhile, the club have also moved to explain the involvement of Les Scadding, the chairman, who has been the subject of fan speculation after embarking on a round-the-world trip in recent months.

County have explained that while the lottery winner is travelling, with the aid of 21st century technology, he’s still very much a vocal presence at the club.

The Argus can reveal that Scadding speaks to chief executive Dave Boddy every other day, to manager Justin Edinburgh a couple of times a week and to fellow director Howard Greenhaf on a daily basis, either via internet or phone-calls.

“The chairman speaks to people most days and Howard every day, he also keeps abreast with fan opinion and what is being written about the club,” a spokesman confirmed to the Argus.

A minority of supporters have criticised Scadding online for his failure to attend recent games.