Manchester United will soon enter discussions with a midfielder who Erik ten Hag is seemingly high on, and any agreement will dash the hopes of a Champions League club.
The engine room at Old Trafford has come under the microscope for varying different reasons this season. New signing Mason Mount was initially deployed in a deeper role, though the ex-Chelsea man never looked comfortable.
Questions have been raised as to how long Casemiro has left at elite level. The Brazilian enjoyed a fantastic first season at Man Utd, though age appears to be catching up this time around.
How loanee Sofyan Amrabat performs will play a major role in whether United trigger their option to buy. The 27-year-old Moroccan can be signed from Fiorentina outright for £21.4m at season’s end.
Elsewhere, finding a place for Scott McTominay is becoming a hot topic given the Scot’s remarkable goalscoring exploits. Another who perhaps doesn’t get the game-time he deserves is Hannibal Mejbri.
The combative 20-year-old plays at full tilt every minute of every match. His tireless workrate has proved popular with United fans and seemingly his manager too.
Hannibal has only made four appearances for United this term, though according to Fabrizio Romano, he’s in line for a contract extension.
Hannibal’s deal expires at the end of the current campaign. Man Utd hold an option for an extra 12 months, though per Romano, a longer-term deal will soon be discussed.
New contract to thwart Sevilla
If Hannibal is tied down for the long haul in Manchester, Sevilla’s long-standing hopes of bringing him to Spain will be dashed.
The Spanish side have been courting Hannibal for some time and reports have claimed they’re hopeful of finally landing their man in January.
Sevilla have started the new season in truly dismal fashion, winning just two of their first 12 matches across all competitions.
Two draws in the Champions League have done their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages little good. Next up in matchdays three and four is Arsenal home then away.
Sevilla had hoped to spring Hannibal’s signing in January and give their ailing campaign a mid-season boost.
But per Romano, United are “very happy” with Hannibal and a new long-term contract is on the cards.
“There is no panic over Hannibal Mejbri’s situation,” Romano told Caught Offside. “His contract expires at the end of the season but there is the option to extend it until 2025, so there’s no alert.
“As I mentioned in September, the club are planning to offer him a new long-term deal to be discussed soon.
“Sevilla have been monitoring him since July but United are very happy with him.”