Manchester United midfielder Hannibal Mejbri left the club on a loan deal to Sevilla just last month, but it hasn’t started too well for the Tunisian.
The 21-year-old made his debut off the bench last month for Sevilla in a heavy 5-1 defeat to Girona in the La Liga. He was then left out of the squad that lost to Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey quarter-final.
Hannibal was also frozen out of the team that played against Osasuna on Saturday.
Sevilla manager Quique Sanchez Flores, delivered a cryptic statement afterwards, saying the youngster needed time ‘to understand that he is at Sevilla and what that means’.
There were even rumours of a bust-up between the young Tunisian and a Sevilla teammate. There were rumours in the Spanish press claiming Hannibal was dropped after an angry bust-up with new team-mate Mariano during a training session, with the two players also squaring off inside the locker room.
Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido Carrasco has defended the Manchester United loanee, rubbishing the rumours targeted at him.
Speaking to Sevilla’s ABC, the club president said: “I think things have been blown out of proportion a little. We are very excited about Hannibal.
“The sports management chose him, he is one of the signings from the January window that excites us the most and we are convinced that Hannibal is going to make it at Sevilla.
“I feel like everything has its processes. He’s only been here a couple of weeks, it’s a new country, a new culture, a new city, a different way of training, a different coaching style.
“We are super excited about Hannibal and convinced he is going to play a lot and breakthrough here at our club.”
Asked specifically about the rumours regarding a confrontation with Mariano, Del Nido Carrasco added: “Hannibal is a magnificent professional, he trains well, he takes care of himself.
“As the proverb goes, ‘A skinny dog is all fleas’. When the team is not doing well and not winning games, stories are created that are not real – like this one that is not real.
“It is a headline that is the result of the bad situation of the team.
“Hannibal is an excellent professional and everyone is happy with him, including the head coach, and, as I already said, we are convinced he is going to make it with Sevilla.”
Sevilla have an option to buy Hannibal permanently for an undisclosed fee.