CRYSTAL Palace have joined the hunt for Rovers striker Nathan Blake.

The First Division club want Blake in a reported £1.5 million deal and were due to hold talks with the Blackburn front man today.

Blake will be allowed to leave Ewood Park if the price is right following Graeme Souness's capture of Italian goalscorer Corrado Grabbi.

And despite interest from Derby County, Palace have now jumped to the front of the queue.

New Eagles boss Steve Bruce is keen to increase Palace's goalpower following his arrival at the club earlier this summer.

And having missed out on former Burnley target John Aloisi, who has joined Spanish club Osasuna for £1.2 million, Bruce sees Blake as the man to turn Palace from relegation candidates to promotion contenders.

Blake, who cost Rovers £4.25 million when he signed from Bolton in October, 1998, scored 19 League goals when he helped Bolton to promotion to the Premiership in 1997.

And despite missing much of last season through injury, the Welsh international still scored half-a-dozen times as Rovers also went up.