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Manchester United midfielder Hannibal Mejbri not going to AFCON as three clubs eye January loan deal

Manchester United midfielder Hannibal Mejbri will not be going to the Africa Cup of Nations next month amid loan interests from suitors ahead of the January transfer window, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Sevilla, Olympique Lyon and Freiburg are all keen on signing the Tunisian international in a deal until the end of the current campaign, but they all want him available for selection as early as possible in January.

The 2024 AFCON will be staged between January 13 and February 11, and clubs with players participating in the tournament could be without them for up to five games.

Man United are also in talks with Mejbri over a new deal, and it appears the 20-year-old is ready to ditch AFCON participation to concentrate on his career at club level.

He has featured in nine games across all competitions this term, but has started just four games and could struggle for minutes if he remains with the Red Devils until the end of the campaign.

The France-born midfielder spent last season in the Championship with Birmingham City, featuring in 41 games across all competitions.

A move to La Liga, Ligue 1 or Bundesliga could do his development a world of good, and it will be interesting to see where he ends up for the second half of the campaign.

Mejbri’s contract ends in 2025, but he is highly regarded by Man United, and they are keen to hand him an extension and better terms.

He made his debut for Tunisia in 2021 having played for France at under-16 and under-17 levels, and he was part of their squad at the 2022 World Cup.

Jalel Kadri is yet to name his squad for the AFCON, and it is expected that Mejbri will be omitted as it appears the player has obtained permission to miss the tournament.

However, Man United will be without Cameroon international goalkeeper Andre Onana and Morocco international midfielder Sofyan Amrabat in the coming games as they have both been called up by their countries for the tournament.

Amad Diallo is also expected to be called up by Ivory Coast despite his lack of action since July due to an injury.

Right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka is considering playing for the Democratic Republic of Congo at the competition having failed to earn an England call-up.

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