What’s the story?
According to reports coming in, Spanish giants, Barcelona are interested in signing Marseille’s Maxime Lopez and Monaco’s Djibril Sidibe. The La Liga champions are reportedly keeping tabs on both players with a view of bidding for them in the summer.
In case you didn’t know..
The 19-year-old Maxime Lopez has scored one goal and notched up four assists in 13 appearances in Ligue 1 and has been a revelation at Marseille.
Djibril Sidibe, meanwhile, is 24-years-old and can play on either side of defence and has scored three goals and racked up three assists in 21 games for Monaco in Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League.
Lopez is a Marseille youth team product while Sidibe joined Monaco from Lille in July of 2016 and has become a regular starter for his new club.
The heart of the matter
Barcelona had sent scouts to the Stade Velodrome last weekend to watch the Marseille vs Monaco game in which both players started. The game ended with Marseille losing 4-1 to their rivals on the night.
However, it was a good game for both Lopez and Sidibe – Lopez assisted Marseille’s only goal while Sidibe, who is a right-back, started on the left side of defence and still created one of Monaco’s goals.
The Frenchman, Lopez put in a bright display in midfield and led his team in the middle of the park despite being only 19-years-old. Sidibe, on the other hand, showed off his strength and physical attributes to great effect.
Barcelona are keeping a close watch on both players and are likely to submit bids for both of them in the summer. Luis Enrique has said that his squad needs strengthening but is keeping his options open and waiting until the end of the season to add reinforcements.
The Catalans are surely looking to strengthen areas where they have been lacking this season. The right back position has been quite problematic for Enrique’s team after the departure of long-time stalwart Dani Alves.
Youth product Sergi Roberto has been distinctly average, making a number of mistakes that have led to goals throughout the season, so Sidibe seems like a great alternative. Also Blaugrana legend Andres Iniesta is now 32-years-old and is nearing the end of his career.
Lopez is young, talented and energetic, he can be eased into the side and can be moulded by the Barcelona philosophy and system into a good player in midfield. If the transfers do happen, the Catalans will have two of the brightest young players from Ligue 1 in their squad and will be stronger as a result.
The additions will aid them in their battle for supremacy in Spain and Europe as they try to beat their arch rivals Real Madrid to the top.