Eric Abidal urges Barcelona to sign Monaco star Djibril Sidibe rather than Hector Bellerin

Eduardo Fernandez-Abascal
Djibril Sidibe

Barcelona hero Eric Abidal has urged his former club to sign Djibril Sidibe ahead of the 2017-18 campaign. Manchester United and Chelsea have both been heavily linked with the Monaco right-back, but Abidal believes his compatriot will be the perfect fit to complement Sergi Roberto at the Nou Camp.

Monaco signed Sidibe from Lille during last summer's transfer window, despite reports at the time suggesting Arsene Wenger was keen on luring him to Arsenal.

Trending: Could Sadio Mane miss the rest of Liverpool's season? It's possible, Jurgen Klopp admits

The France international has since developed into one of the most coveted right-backs in Europe, amid the backdrop of many of Europe's elite looking to sign a new full-back this summer.

Reports since January have claimed Chelsea are monitoring the situation following the departure of Branislav Ivanovic.

Don't miss: IPL 2017: Which England cricketers are set to feature in India?

Earlier this week The Sun reported that Manchester United are preparing a double swoop on the Monaco right-back and his compatriot Benjamin Mendy as Jose Mourinho wants to strengthen his side down the flanks.

Barcelona had been heavily linked with Arsenal ace Hector Bellerin as their right-back signing this summer, a role they desperately need to fill.

Most popular: Re-emergence of Roger Federer down to Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray struggles

The Arsenal right-back looks like a perfect fit to fill the spot left by Dani Alves as he grew up in La Masia.

However, Abidal believes Barcelona should change their plans and battle with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea to sign Sidibe.

"I would like Barcelona to sign Djibril Sidibe from Monaco," the former Barcelona defender told Mundo Deportivo. "Looking at the current squad and the needs of the club I would sign Sidibe to accompany Sergi Roberto at right-back, but they also can reinforce the other lines."

Abidal knows well what is needed to succeed in Barcelona's defence. He was a key part of the club during the golden era of Pep Guardiola, helping the Catalans win two Champions Leagues and four La Liga titles in six campaigns. Last summer the former France international encouraged Barcelona to sign Samuel Umtiti. The advice has paid off as the former Lyon centre-back has enjoyed an impressive debut campaign at the Nou Camp.

Asked to review the campaign of Umtiti and Lucas Digne at Barcelona, Abidal said: "I've been surprised by their adaptation. Changing country and language is not easy and they made the effort to learn and settle with in the dressing room."

Elsewhere, Abidal also encouraged Barcelona to make every effort to tie Lionel Messi to a new deal.

"Hopefully [Messi will sign a new deal]," he said. "The club can not afford to lose the best player in the world. I know that the club will always be good to him for everything he has done and he deserves more than signing a new deal."

You may be interested in:

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes