Arsenal are reportedly among the clubs keeping a close eye on CSKA Sofia’s rising sensation Valentin Antov, who is also courted by AS Roma.

According to a report by Calciomercato, Arsenal could potentially indulge in a transfer duel with AS Roma in the pursuit of Valentin Antov in the upcoming January transfer window. The CSKA Sofia defender has attracted the interest of a host of clubs across Europe following his performances at the club.

AS Roma are among the clubs keen on securing his services. However, CSKA Sofia’s technical director Alan Pardew’s relationship with English clubs could lead to a Premier League move for the youngster, thus putting Arsenal on red alert, although the Gunners could also face competition from a fellow English club in Watford.

A product of the Sofia youth academy, Antov initially made his breakthrough in professional football during the 2018/19 campaign. However, the 20-year-old has enjoyed a swift rise to prominence in the ongoing campaign, having established himself as a mainstay in the CSKA Sofia backline with a total of 16 league appearances.

Antov has also featured in all of Sofia’s Europa League group stage fixtures. Although he could not help his club qualify for the knockout stages, he certainly made an impression playing against AS Roma, who are perhaps bracing themselves for the potential departure of Liverpool-linked Roger Ibanez.

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Arsenal too, are growing desperate to add reinforcements in their ranks in the upcoming January transfer window. Although there in no imminent need of a new centre-back at the moment, the Gunners are expected to part ways with seasoned defenders like Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis while David Luiz is not getting any younger.

Even then, Mikel Arteta still boasts the services of Gabriel Magalhaes, Rob Holding and Pablo Mari, all of whom are capable of serving Arsenal for the long-term. In addition, they also have the young William Saliba, even though the Frenchman has been unlucky with a lack of game-time and is yet to make a senior appearance with the club.

As a result, the central defender has been linked with a move back to Ligue 1, which could potentially justify the club’s interest in Antov. The 20-year-old, who boasts a tall frame of 1.87m, could offer some variety in Arteta’s defensive options, even potentially competing with Kieran Tierney for the left-sided centre-back position.

Nevertheless, it appears unlikely that Arsenal would want to get serious about signing Antov at the moment. The north Londoners are currently in need of a suitable replacement for Mesut Ozil, who, in turn, has been recently linked with a shock move to Juventus.

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