Euro giant launch mission to sign ‘phenomenal’ Man Utd star with Ten Hag decision to speak volumes

Erik ten Hag of Man Utd Credit: Alamy
Erik ten Hag of Man Utd Credit: Alamy

A French powerhouse have stepped up their interest in a Man Utd midfielder previously labelled “phenomenal”, per a report.

The headlines at Old Trafford last summer centred mainly around permanent first-team arrivals and exits. The Red Devils oversaw the departures of several senior stars, with the likes of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Edinson Cavani all departing for free.

However, a series of important loan exits for the club’s next generation of stars were also sanctioned.

Many secured loans to the Championship, with Alvaro Fernandez moving to Preston and Amad Diallo to Sunderland.

Another to be given an opportunity in England’s second tier was feisty midfielder Hannibal Mejbri. The 19-year-old moved to Birmingham City on a season-long loan and by all accounts, has been a revelation.

Hannibal’s all-action style quickly made him a fan favourite at St. Andrew’s, not least with manager John Eustace.

“The way he has played in the last couple of games has been phenomenal,” said Eustace back in November.

“He has broken records for total distance [covered], all that kind of stuff.”

Hannibal has racked up 19 appearances for Birmingham thus far and has started each of their last nine contests. He’s provided three assists during that streak.

Man Utd star wanted in France

However, his impressive form has caught the eye of French side Marseille, according to the Sun,

Hannibal joined Man Utd from fellow French outfit Monaco back in 2019 and per the newspaper, Marseille want to bring the midfielder back to France.

They’re deemed to have ‘sent one of their top men’ to check on the player’s progress last week. United have also been keeping regular tabs on how Hannibal is developing.

The Sun don’t divulge any further details, though the timing of the report would suggest Marseille are mulling a January move.

Doing so would require Birmingham’s loan deal to be terminated and given he’s featuring regularly, that would only occur if Marseille were buying the player outright.

If Marseille do act upon their interest and table an offer, a decision will likely rest with Erik ten Hag.

If the Dutchman does not view Hannibal as someone who can contribute at the top level moving forward, it stands to reason he’d be open to a sale.

Indeed, United are desperate to sign a new striker in January and funds are tight after overspending last summer.

READ MORE: Man Utd, Arsenal converge on surprise midfield target with transfer fee closely mirroring clever Chelsea coup

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