Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had a plan if Manchester United missed out on Bruno Fernandes (AFP via Getty Images)

Bruno Fernandes stopped Solskjaer from fast-tracking Man Utd academy star


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was considering fast-tracking Hannibal Mejbri before Bruno Fernandes joined Manchester United in the January transfer window, according to reports.

Fernandes moved to United in for £67.7 million but the deal with Sporting was agreed towards the end of the transfer window after lengthy negotiations.

United were standing firm over their offer to Sporting and were refusing to increase their bid, which meant Solskjaer was running the risk of losing out on signing the Portugal international.

According to Manchester Evening News, Solskjaer and United’s coaching staff had created a ‘contingency plan’ in the event that Fernandes did not make the move to Old Trafford.

And the report claims that consideration was given to fast-track Mejbri, while Ethan Laird and Largie Ramazani were also in line for first-team promotions.
Hannibal Mejbri was due to be fast-tracked if Bruno Fernandes did not arrive at Manchester United (Getty Images)

Mejbri joined United in a €10 million (£9.1m) deal from Monaco last August and has already featured for the Under-23s, as well as the Under-18s.

The 17-year-old is yet to make his senior debut but Manchester Evening News report that he is in line to be on the fringes of the first team next season.

In February, reports claimed that Mejbri has been impressive in training with one source close to the Under-23s squad telling The Athletic that the midfielder has been ‘taking the p***’ out of older players with his skills.

‘He actually takes the p*** sometimes against players a couple of years older than him,’ said the source.

‘He’ll feint to strike then drag it and shoot the other way.’
Hannibal Mejbri has impressed for MAnchester United’s academy sides since joining from Monaco last August (Getty Images)

Speaking earlier this year, Nicky Butt, United’s head of first-team development, urged caution over promoting Mejbri to the senior squad too quickly.

‘Hannibal is different to Paul [Pogba] when Paul was a youth team player,’ Butt told the Manchester Evening News.

‘He’s not as powerful as Paul, he isn’t as dominant as him, he’s a different kind of player to Paul but we all know about the talent he’s got. It’s been written out there in the press many times with the signing and the fee.

‘But he’s a young man who’s come to a new country who needs a bit of time.

‘He’s a very, very talented boy but he’s still very immature. He’s still a baby, he’s just 17.

‘He’s not got anything on him just yet, he needs to build up his size and build up his physicality.

‘Talent-wise, he’s got such an immense talent to go on and play at a high level but there’s a long way to go yet.’

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