Fulham target Djibril Sidibe admits he could’ve joined Atletico Madrid or Premier League champions Manchester City while at Monaco, speaking in quotes translated by Marca.
Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva, Fabinho, Joao Moutinho and Thomas Lemar; It’s fair to say the majority of the wonderful, once-in-a-generation Monaco side who snatched the Ligue 1 title from under Paris Saint-Germain’s nose back in 2017 have gone on to rather big things.
Tiemoue Bakayoko and Benjamin Mendy secured big-money moves to the Premier League too in the aftermath of that thrilling campaign in the Principality.
So you can understand why Sidibe feels like a bit of an odd-one out.
The France international right-back was one of the very few players that Monaco refused to sell, thus costing a now 29-year-old free-agent the chance to embark on a dream move to one of the biggest clubs on the continent.
Man City once wanted Fulham target Djibril Sidibe
“Atletico and other clubs like Manchester City contacted my agent,” says Sidibe, who will leave Monaco when his contract expires this week. “But where I wanted to go was to Atletico.
“I needed to remove that ‘counter-attacking player’ label. I wanted to become a benchmark, a true defender. Atletico told me that I needed to acquire some of those ingredients, to train well to become a beast in defence.”
Sidibe did spent a rather hit-and-miss loan spell at Everton in 2019/20, and a return to the Premier League appears to be on the cards this summer. According to Sky Sports, the former Lille man is in talks with newly-promoted Fulham.
But, with all due respect to the Cottagers, they aren’t Atletico Madrid.
“The negotiations were complicated. I think there was a bit of greed on Monaco’s part. But I don’t blame them,” Sidibe recalls, claiming that a move to Madrid fell through due to a difference in opinion over the defender’s price-tag.
“I was really frustrated because it was the best opportunity to broaden my game. It took me a long time to digest the frustration.”