Manchester United could sell Hannibal Mejbri to Sevilla at the end of his loan spell, but it may not mean he never plays for the club again due to the reported presence of a buy-back clause.
Hannibal, who turns 21 in a matter of days, completed a loan switch to Sevilla with an option for a permanent transfer come the summer on Monday.
Multiple reports have quoted the fee, which is not an obligation and doesn’t have to be triggered by Sevilla depending on how the next few months pan out, at €20m (£17m).
Even if a permanent full sale goes through, United are believed to have agreed a buy-back clause for the future. Fabrizio Romano prices this clause at €35m (£30m). It allows the Old Trafford club to retain an influence on Hannibal’s future, while at the same time ensuring Sevilla will profit financially on their investment in the midfielder to the tune of a handsome 75% should it be triggered.
In addition to that, a sell-on clause would entitle United to a chunk of a sale to another club if they themselves do not opt to bring Hannibal back to Manchester. The percentage is not disclosed.
The Manchester Evening News has reported that claims it was new investors INEOS who intervened in proceedings to adjust the terms of the transfer are false.
United initially signed a 16-year-old Hannibal in a £9m agreement with Monaco in the summer of 2019. He was quickly noted for his natural ability and was involved in first-team training from a young age, going on to make a handful of senior appearances by the end of 2021/22.
Already by then a regular senior international with Tunisia, the youngster joined Championship side Birmingham City on loan for the 2022/23 campaign and featured 41 times in all competitions. He then returned to United to play ten times in the first half of 2023/24, including his first goal for the club – a long-distance consolation in a defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion.
Hannibal joins ex-United winger Adnan Januzaj at Sevilla, where former Manchester City star Jesus Navas is club captain and Champions League winners Sergio Ramos and Ivan Rakitic are also among the squad’s senior leadership group.