Manchester United are expected to make teenage starlet Hannibal Mejbri a permanent member of the first-team squad once he returns from international duty in the coming days.
Hannibal, who recently turned 19, has been away with Tunisia at the African Cup of Nations. They were knocked out at the quarter-final stage by Burkina Faso over the weekend, meaning their players will soon report back to their respective club sides.
The youngster played twice at AFCON, taking his number of senior international appearances up to 11, although his only senior United outing came at the end of last season.
Hannibal has split his time between the fringes of the first-team and the club’s junior sides this season, playing in the EFL Trophy, Premier League 2 and UEFA Youth League.
Having already been training with the senior players but still turning out in age-restricted competitions, the Manchester Evening News has reported that Hannibal will re-join the first-team for the rest of the season once he is back at United.
Hannibal had already represented Tunisia at the Arab Cup just before AFCON and it is said that he chose to return to Manchester to train in the hope of impressing interim United manager Ralf Rangnick, despite being offered a mini holiday by the club.
Rangnick is famed for his record of overseeing player development and has already made Anthony Elanga a key part of the first-team after the young Swede appeared to have dropped back out of contention under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United agreed to pay up to €10m for Hannibal when they signed him from Monaco’s youth academy in the summer of 2019 at the age of just 16. His reputation has been growing ever since and The Athletic reported only a few months after his arrival that he would ‘take the p*ss’ out of players a few years old than him during Under-23 training sessions.
Source : 90min