Arsenal may be close to making their second signing of the summer with a €15million move for Lille full-back Djibril Sidibe on the card.
Monaco had agreed a €15million fee with Lille but Arsenal appear to have gazumped the French club according to L’Equipe. The Gunners late interest has stalled the transfer. Sidibe is thought to favour a move to the Emirates and will wait to see what they may offer him. Reports from France on Friday continued to suggest that Arsenal had made a contract offer to Sidibe.
Sidibe has played 96 games for Lille since joining them in 2012, scoring 7 goals. Arsenal had been reported to be interested in Ricardo Rodriguez, also an attacking full-back. But Sidibe is cheaper and can cover more positions than the Swiss left-back.
Despite playing left-back last season, Sidibe was thought to be a right-back, he played on the right at times last season and even featured further forward in positions like right midfield.
Sidibe is a well-rounded defender and that is highlighted by his ability to play in many positions. He is particularly strong with his dribbling and going forward there are few better full backs in Ligue 1. He notched up 35 key passes and scored 4 goals in 37 games last season for Lille. To put that into perspective a bit, Monreal, in the same amount of games, managed 25 key passes and 0 goals.
Sidibe is a very skilful and two-footed, leading many to believe his future lies further up the field. He could certainly be used in a more advanced wide position, similar to where Gibbs was sometimes played last season.
This signing, if it happens, isn’t the blockbuster one that some fans have been hoping for, but it is a shrewd addition and his age and versatility make him a good value squad player (for now) at around £12million.
His signing would probably spell the end of Mathieu Debuchy who has been linked with a move away from the club this summer, whilst it could also see Kieran Gibbs end his long spell at the club, with Newcastle and others interested in his signing.
Reports now suggest Monaco may have the deal sealed up though.
Sidibè is getting closer to Monaco, it will be his choice. The deal between Arsenal and Lille was done, but Monaco interested before
— Guglielmo Cannavale (@GugliCannavale) July 8, 2016