Manchester United's Hannibal joins Sevilla on loan as Onana left out of Cameroon squad

Midfielder Hannibal opted out of joining Tunisia for Africa Cup of Nations dity this month so he could secure his club future

Hannibal Mejbri has made 10 appearances for Manchester united this season. AFP
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Manchester United midfielder Hannibal Mejbri has joined struggling La Liga side Sevilla on loan for the rest of the 2023/24 season.

The French-born 20-year-old was expected to be away on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Tunisia this month but opted instead to stay behind in England to secure his club future.

It is understood that Sevilla have an option to purchase Hannibal for an initial £20 million in the summer plus a further £3 million in add-ons.

United have also included a buy-back option and a sell-on fee if he departs elsewhere.

Hannibal joined United from Monaco in 2019 and has made 10 appearances this season, the last of which came in last week's FA Cup third-round win over Wigan Athletic.

He has failed to nail down a regular first-team place under United boss Erik ten Hag despite injuries to the likes of Casemiro, Mason Mount and Christian Eriksen.

"Best of luck to Hannibal," said Manchester United on the club website.

Onana links up with Cameroon squad at Afcon

Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana made a grueling trip to link up with Cameroon before their opening Afcon game against Guinea on Monday – only to be left out of the squad entirely by coach Rigobert Song.

Onana flew to Abidjan in Ivory Coast Ivorian Coast after playing in United's 2-2 Premier League draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

From there the player reported difficulties getting another flight to the capital Yamoussoukro, forcing him to make the journey by road instead.

Such a trip would normally take two-and-a-half hours, but heavy traffic in Abidjan and traffic restrictions imposed by police for Afcon security measures mean most journeys during the tournament face delays.

“It's logical. He arrived at 4 o'clock in the morning. How do you want him to play?” Song said after the game. The coach added: “He's part of the group."

Onana has had a difficult relationship with former Liverpool defender Song since he was named Cameroon coach in February 2022.

The 27-year-old quit the national team after he was sent home from the 2022 World Cup following a dispute with Song, but returned after apparently winning back the coach's favour.

Ratcliffe meets with United supporters

Sir Jim Ratcliffe met supporter representatives and local community leaders on Monday as he continues to await Premier League ratification of his investment in Manchester United.

Ratcliffe attended United’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham at Old Trafford on Sunday, his first appearance since the announcement of his prospective £1.3 billion deal.

The Ineos chairman, who watched the game alongside Sir Alex Ferguson, has conducted a series of meetings with club staff and associates in recent days.

After meeting with leaders of the independent Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, Ratcliffe spoke with local leaders including senior representatives of Trafford Council, and Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.

Ratcliffe is reportedly already planning to lead an overhaul of United’s playing squad, starting with four new players to aid Ten Hag’s bid to lead a belated charge for Europe.

United are currently seventh in the Premier League table with 32 points after 21 games, eight points off fourth-placed Arsenal.

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Updated: January 16, 2024, 9:49 AM