Date: 7th January 2021 at 7:20pm
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According to French outlet Foot Mercato, Newcastle United have made an approach for Monaco defender Djibril Sidibé. 

What’s the story?

They claim the Magpies – along with Marseille – admire the right-back who reportedly wants more in the way of first-team football having only started five games in Ligue 1 this season.

A World Cup winner with France in 2018, the 28-year-old spent the year on loan with Everton last time out but has largely lost his place to Ruben Aguilar since returning to the Stade Louis II over the course of the summer.

Would he be a good signing?

Though DeAndre Yedlin has recently returned to the starting eleven under Steve Bruce, the American is out of contract this summer and has been linked with a move to Turkey.

Emil Krafth, meanwhile, hasn’t been able to nail down a first-team berth since joining the club in the summer of 2019 and Sidibé – valued at £6.3m by Transfermarkt – did outperform all three (including Javi Manquillo) of Newcastle’s right-backs last season.

Using stats from WhoScored, the Frenchman made more tackles (3.3) and interceptions per game (1.6) than any of Bruce’s current options. Indeed, it wasn’t only defensively where he outdid the aforementioned trio, averaging more key passes (0.8) and shots (0.5) over the same period.

Registering four assists, that tally was higher than the three Newcastle players mustered altogether.

Relatively proven in the Premier League, he would appear to be an upgrade.

The Verdict

However, the report does claim Everton wanted to keep him but Monaco weren’t prepared to send him out on loan again in their efforts to raise funds.

They’re said to be wanting between €5m-€7m for the player (roughly £4.5m-£6.3m) which, while relatively cheap for a World Cup winner with Premier League experience, isn’t in keeping with Newcastle’s reported strategy. Bruce has talked up the loan market after reports from the Northern Echo that’s what he’d have to rely on, so even that kind of money may prove too expensive.