Arsenal are reportedly in pole position to sign Paris FC’s 13-year-old midfield prodigy Hannibal Mejbri
According to Laurent Pruneta of Le Parisien, Arsenal are closing in on French teenager Hanibal Mejbri. The 13-year-old midfielder is a reported transfer target of a host of English sides including Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, but Arsene Wenger appears to be a tad ahead in the race for the player’s signature.
At a tender age of 13, Mejbri already has set the world alight after signing an contract with renowned sportswear brand Adidas. He has since emerged as transfer target for a number of clubs, and could be offered a whopping sum to move to the Premier League.
However, according to the player’s father, there is no rush in making an immediate decision on the future of his son. Lofti Mejbri is a former professional footballer himself, plying his trade in Tunisia’s second division. He said:
“As parents, we are proud of it but it is very surreal, because we know very well that everything that’s happening around him can be dangerous.
“The priority is his studies. It is more likely he becomes a doctor or lawyer than a pro footballer.
“And even if he does, I do not want him to have a chickpea (for a brain) in his head.”
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) November 22, 2016
On initial sighting, Mejbri draws comparisons with Chelsea defender David Luiz due to his frizzly hair. His style of play is also akin to the Brazilian, although he prefers playing further up the pitch. The 13-year-old is completing his football education at France’s Clairefontaine base until 2018 while on the books of Paris FC – the capital’s secondary club, according to the Sun.
Despite initial reports suggesting that Mejbri had signed a pre-contract with the Gunners, it appears that the rumours were untrue as the player’s father spoke to the contrary. He also stated that the midfield prodigy is not considering joining native club Paris St. Germain, thus leaving the path open for a move to the Emirates Stadium.