France international full-back Djibril Sidibe has revealed that Arsenal made a summer approach for him but he rejected the Gunners as he was concerned over a potential lack of playing time.
The 24-year-old is versatile enough to feature on either side of a back four and was in high demand over the summer, leaving Lille to join Ligue 1 rivals Monaco.
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However, Sidibe has confessed that the Premier League side also were interested in his signature, with a late approach from the Gunners in an attempt to convince the defender to move to the Emirates Stadium.
The forward-thinking full-back full-back stated that if he was leaving Lille he wanted to be assured that he would play regularly and this was not on offer with Arsene Wenger’s men.
“I was on the brink [of signing for Monaco] and [Arsenal] gave me a headache by making a bid at the last moment,” Sidibe told Le Parisien.
“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 was coming through the ranks at Lille while current Arsenal full-back Mathieu Debuchy was still at the Ligue 1 club, with the 24-year-old the current Gunner’s back-up.
The revelation that Wenger wanted to field the Frenchman as a left-back casts doubts over Kieran Gibbs’ future at the North London club and suggests the Premier League side are potentially in the market for a long-term replacement for Nacho Monreal.