By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Monaco defender Djibril Sidibe has revealed he plans to move to the Premier League next year after rejecting a summer Arsenal switch.
Sidibe, 24, claimed he held talks with the Gunners in the last transfer window after they made a formal bid for him while he was closing in on a move from former club Lille.
The France international was interested in a switch to Emirates Stadium but he was put off by the London club’s plans to play him out of position at left-back.
Right-back Sidibe, who has earned two senior France caps, decided to press ahead with joining Monaco from Lille in July.
“I was on the brink [of signing for Monaco] and [Arsenal] gave me a headache by making a bid at the last moment,” he told Le Parisien, as quoted by Sky Sports’ transfer centre (3.15pm).
“After reflecting on it, I was not certain my playing time would be guaranteed. I would have played maybe 25 games this season, including the cups. They also wanted to use me on the left whereas I want to establish myself on the right.
“I chose to stay in Ligue 1 and then leave for the Premier League next year because it is a competition that greatly appeals to me.”
Sidibe’s comments about Arsenal hijacking his Monaco move suggest Arsene Wenger is planning to phase in a replacement for Nacho Monreal, who turns 31 in February.
Hector Bellerin plays in Sidibe’s favoured right-back position but is one of Arsenal’s emerging stars and is expected to develop further in the coming years.
In other Arsenal news, they have joined Liverpool and Tottenham in the race to sign £17million Eurio 2016 star.