Free agent Eric Abidal has told RTL he is "optimistic" about his chances of joining ambitious Monaco for next season, but has kept the door open for Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain.
Currently on holiday before embarking on a series of charity matches for Lionel Messi's foundation, Abidal, 33, has yet to decide on his final destination for next season after being allowed to leave Barcelona when his contract expired at the end of the last La Liga campaign.
The France international, who started his professional career at Monaco in 2000, revealed he has already held talks with the newly-promoted club's sporting director, Vadim Vasilyev, and even underwent a medical with the principality outfit, who were concerned about his fitness following his liver transplant in April 2012.
"I think it went well because I haven't heard anything. We were able to advance. Having said that, I don't have a contract. I'm taking my time, I have other possibilities. I've always said Monaco were going to be my first choice. But my door is still open to the other clubs who have approached me," the former Lille and Lyon defender said.
“I'm optimistic [the move to Monaco will come through], but it's true that in the world of football, it's complicated. And the more time goes on, the more you doubt. I'm not going to tell you that I don't have doubts. I would have liked things to go more quickly, but I also understand clubs or presidents or doctors ask themselves questions, that's understandable. I'm taking my time, the transfer window is long. I'm free so I could interest a lot of clubs."
While a return to the Stade Louis II, to "go full circle" as Abidal puts it, remains his priority, his impressive list of contacts, which include prominent European coaches, means he can afford to be patient.
"My telephone is working. If I have to go to Monaco, I'll go. If it doesn't work out, we'll see about another opportunity," he said. "I would certainly like to return to France. I know a lot of coaches, notably Pep Guardiola, Remi Garde, Laurent Blanc. I was in contact too with Gerard Houllier about New York and Claude Puel at Nice.
"So the doors are open. I had several options, either to go full circle at Monaco where I started, or go and seek an enormous challenge with Bayern or PSG in the Champions League."