AS Monaco defender has said that he wants assurances of playing time amid interest from Chelsea and Barcelona.

Spanish outlet Sport have reported that Djibril Sidibe is attracting interest from Barcelona, but it will not be a straightforward acquisition. That is because Sidibe has said in an interview with RMC Sport that he will only consider leaving AS Monaco if he is guaranteed playing time.

“As a player, it’s always exciting to play against the best, in the best league,” Sidibe said. “Today, I’m fortunate to play at Monaco in a good team. We’re playing the Champions League, we score a lot of goals, we’re still in every competition.

“The risk is to go to a big club, be substitute, take a step back, go out on loan… it’s always difficult. My criteria is playing time. Having said that, if a club that I can’t turn down wants me and can guarantee me quite a bit of playing time, I’ll have to think about it.”

Sidibe is being regarded as one of the best right-backs in Europe presently, following his consistent showings for Monaco, who have taken the Ligue 1 by storm this season.

The 24-year-old has not been the headline-grabber that his more attacking teammates have been so far, but has been every bit the vital cog in Leonardo Jardim’s first team plans.

Give me play time and you have me. (Photo courtesy - Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images)

Give me play time and you have me. (Photo courtesy – Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images)

An imposing figure at the back, Sidibe possesses immense agility to deal with the quickest of attacking players with ease, and his no-nonsense attitude in defending help keep things tidy at the back.

He has played 38 games in all competitions for Monaco since making the move from Lille last summer and has even chipped in with three goals and five assists for the principality club.

With Sidibe emerging as a dependable right-back in recent seasons, he has been a player who has featured on the radars of several clubs across Europe. In fact, Arsenal were keen on signing the French defender last summer, before he chose Monaco instead, fearing limited playing time.

Chelsea are also closely monitoring Sidibe’s progress alongside Barcelona, with Antonio Conte keen to add to his options at wing-back in the summer. That is because, the Chelsea boss doesn’t have anyone beyond Victor Moses to choose from on the right flank.

And while Moses has been a revelation at right wing-back this season, but he doesn’t quite possess that defensive acumen that Sidibe will bring to the plate, making the Frenchman an ideal target to pursue in the summer transfer window.

Meanwhile, Barcelona have not managed to replace Dani Alves at right-back following his departure from Camp Nou last summer. Aleix Vidal has failed to make much of an impression since moving from Sevilla and while Sergi Roberto has impressed in patches, he is likely to slot back into midfield next season, as per reports.

Thus, Sidibe has been identified as one of the big objectives by Barcelona for the summer. He is likely to be installed as the first choice by both Chelsea and Barcelona, and it remains to be seen if Sidibe agrees to a move, if either side comes calling when the transfer window opens in June.

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