Monaco defender Djibril Sidibe has opened up on why he rejected the chance to join Arsenal in favour of a move to the French Riviera. Meanwhile, Inter Milan are said to have moved ahead of the Gunners in the race to sign Moussa Sissoko.
Sidibe completed a transfer from Lille to Monaco in July despite reports Arsenal made a late offer for the full-back, and he recently told French magazine France Football of his reasoning behind the move (h/t Uche Amako of the Daily Express):
Monaco is one of the great French clubs. Sportingly, the objectives are very interesting with the Champions League. And I needed a good framework for progress with quality players, even if there was good players at Lille.
I hesitated with Arsenal, but in terms of playing time, I knew it would be very limited, between fifteen and twenty matches. I got a plan in my head because there was a fairly strong competition [at Arsenal].
And England, it is a risk. Many young players are left out there. So I told myself, to do an extra year or even two in Ligue 1, to take maximum provisions to ensure I evolve in the future.
Those comments suggest the 24-year-old may be open to a move to the Emirates Stadium in the future, but the Gunners are in need of defensive reinforcements right now.
However, despite Sidibe's suggestion to the contrary, Get French Football News reported at the time of his July transfer that Arsenal in fact didn't make a serious offer for the defender's services:
Hector Bellerin safely occupies the right-back slot at the Emirates as things stand, with Mathieu Debuchy sitting as cover, while Calum Chambers has also played that role in the past.
However, with injuries at centre-back, Chambers was more recently drafted in to play central by manager Arsene Wenger, meaning new arrivals in any area of the back line might have been welcome.
Ligue 1 Show presenter Matt Spiro recently confirmed the Nerazzurri's interest in the playmaker and concurred the Italian giants are understood to already be in negotiations:
Arsenal have previously been linked with a move for Sissoko this summer, but the arrival of Granit Xhaka, who moved to north London for a reported £35 million, means more midfield signings may be unlikely.
Bleacher Report's Dean Jones recently provided a breakdown on the latest news regarding Sissoko's Newcastle nightmare, with Everton also among the teams said to be interested:
Sissoko stood out as one of Newcastle's more impressive stars despite the Magpies' failure to secure their Premier League status last season, going on to star for France during their run to the UEFA Euro 2016 final.
Newcastle have already lost Georginio Wijnaldum to Liverpool this summer, but Inter are now said to be in pole position to prise Sissoko away from St. James' Park if he leaves the north-east club.