In a shock twist of events, Everton have seemingly hijacked Sevilla’s loan move for Manchester United midfielder Hannibal Mejbri.
Hannibal Mejbri, 20, who had his contract extended by another year last week, has struggled to break through into the first team since he arrived from AS Monaco in 2019. The Tunisia international has made only nine appearances in all competitions this season, scoring a goal.
Due to a lack of regular game time, the midfielder is open to leaving Manchester United this month. Hannibal had interest from Ligue 1 club Lyon and Bundesliga side SC Freiburg but he had turned them down in favour of a move to Sevilla. It is understood that the La Liga side could include a buy option at the end of the season and Man United could insist on a buyback clause.
However, Everton have reportedly entered the race and are making contact with Hannibal’s camp over a move to Goodison Park.
Hannibal Mejbri keen for regular first-team opportunities
Hannibal has struggled for minutes on the pitch this season and is eager to get regular first-team experience, which currently looks unlikely at Old Trafford. The 20-year-old was the subject of interest from several clubs in the summer but he chose to stay and fight for his place under Erik ten Hag after impressing at Championship club Birmingham City on loan last season. He made 41 appearances for Birmingham City across all competitions, bagging a goal and supplying six assists along the way.
However, with Ten Hag’s Red Devils knocked out of the Champions League and the Carabao Cup, coupled with the imminent return of Casemiro and Mason Mount from injury this month, opportunities for the Tunisian could be scarce in the second half of the campaign. As a result, Hannibal is understood to be open to leaving the club in this transfer window.
Everton are locked in a 50-50 transfer battle with Sevilla over the signing of the central midfielder. Both clubs have expressed their interest in the player, with Man United asking for a seven-figure loan fee as well as the player’s wages to be covered. Hannibal’s decision will largely depend on where he will get regular first-team exposure to kickstart his club career.
Either way, Man United need to insert some kind of buyback clause in Hannibal’s contract as he has certainly shown enough potential to become a first-team player at Old Trafford in the future.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.