Sevilla chief gives verdict on Man Utd loanee Hannibal Mejbri after bizarre manager comments

Hannibal Mejbri left Manchester United on loan this month and his move to Sevilla could be made permanent in the summer.
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Sevilla president José María del Nido Carrasco insists Hannibal Mejbri is a 'magnificent professional' and rubbished talks of their dissatisfaction with the Manchester United loanee.

Hannibal joined Sevilla on loan earlier this month but his start to life in Spain has been a strange one littered with speculation. Amid reports of a training ground bust-up, manager Quique Sánchez Flores claimed he would be left out of the squad to face Osasuna last week.

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But the squad announcement did include the Tunisian international's name and although he was an unused substitute, it seemed as though Sanchez Flores had a change of heart. And now his boss and Sevilla president Del Nido has jumped to Hannibal's defence.

“We are very excited about Hannibal, we are convinced that he is going to play a lot," he said. “Hannibal is a magnificent professional, he trains well, he takes care of himself... everyone is happy with him, don’t trust other stories."

The initial criticism from Sanchez Flores was strange, with suggestions that he needed to learn what it is like to be at a 'huge club'. Despite not being a first-tam regular, the 21-year-old came through the ranks at United and enjoyed a spell of first-team football under Erik ten Hag.

"In the end they are kids who have come and suddenly land in a huge club like Sevilla in circumstances of maximum demand. And they need a bit of location," Sanchez Flores said. "You should take a step to understand what we want. Let's see if the boy applies himself and I think that in the end he will understand perfectly what we want."

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Hannibal's start to life at Sevilla has been slow, with just one appearance coming off the bench in a 5-1 defeat against Girona. He has since been an unused substitute twice and his side are only two places and one point above the relegation zone in La Liga. Sevilla do have the option to make his move permanent in the summer for a fee believed to be around £17million.

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