Udinese midfielder Antonin Barak has name-checked Arsenal and Barcelona as clubs he would be interested in joining once his Italian jaunt has concluded.

The 22-year-old only joined the Bianconeri Friuliani in the summer for €3m but has made an instant impression with two goals in nine appearances since agreeing to leave Slavia Prague last January.

Though Barak played a move attacking role in his Czech homeland, he has continued to learn his trade with a more withheld position behind Maxi Lopez and Rodrigo de Paul.

But back in a more familiar offensive role Barak has flourished with the winning goal in each of Udinese's last two games against Sassuolo and Atalanta to help Luigi Delneri's occupy 13<sup>th place in Serie A after 11 games of the campaign.

The club, owned by the same Pozzo family which runs Premier League side Watford, have designs on steering clear of a relegation battle in the Italian top flight which has blighted recent seasons.

Barak is key to those ambitions, but the club will be concerned by his latest comments in which he claims to be interested in a move to either Arsenal or Barcelona, where is closely following the career of Andres Iniesta.

"I was and still am an Arsenal fan," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "I went crazy for Thierry Henry. These days, I watch Andres Iniesta for his vision and first touch. I feel like a number 8 in the middle of the midfield, but I accept to play everywhere, I'm not sorry to move from 10.

I'm good for Udinese I know that I need to develop, and it doesn't bother me where I end up. We'll see. There are important teams in Europe and I like Arsenal and Barcelona. Juve is very strong but I admire the game of Naples: they are fantastic!"

As Barak continues to enhance his reputation both in and out of Italy, Czech Repubic's failure to qualify for next year's World Cup finals will at least ensure he will be kept out of the global spotlight when the summer transfer window reopens.

The former Pribram and Graffin Vlasim youngster did score three times during the qualifying campaign – only Michal Kremencik netted more times for the Czechs – but they were edged out of the top two by Germany and Northern Ireland.

Antonin Barak
Barak has scored twice for his new club this season. Getty Images