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 By Ian Holyman

Monaco's Djibril Sidibe was 'really close' to Arsenal transfer

Djibril Sidibe has made five Ligue 1 appearances this season.

Monaco full-back Djibril Sidibe has said he rejected a summer move to Arsenal although the France international full-back does see his future in England.

Sidibe, 24, opted to sign a five-year contract with Monaco in the summer rather than answer positively to overtures from the Gunners, who approached him and then-club Lille late in the transfer window.

"I was really close to signing, and I had a headache given how late they came in for me. Normally, you jump at the chance, but after thinking about it, I wasn't certain that I would get playing time. I would have played perhaps 25 games with the cups," Sidibe told Le Parisien.

"And they saw me playing rather on the left while I want to establish myself on the right. So, I preferred to stay in Ligue 1 to get a maximum of experience and leave for the Premier League next year, because it's a league that I'm really attracted to."

With Bacary Sagna injured, Sidibe is set to replace the Manchester City player at right-back for Les Bleus against Netherlands in Monday's 2018 World Cup qualifier, although he acknowledged he remains behind his rival in Didier Deschamps' pecking order.

"Bacary Sagna's return was positive for me, because I use him to accompany me in this adventure and gain experience," said the former Troyes defender, who has three caps to his name.

"Of course I hope to be number one in the future just as every player hopes to be a starter. But I've only played three matches, Bacary plays for Manchester City and continues to contribute to Les Bleus."

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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