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Manchester United chief scout Javier Ribalta joins Zenit St Petersburg


Bengaluru, August 2: Javier Ribalta has been a profound name in Italian football due to his tenure with Juventus. He also worked as a scout at Torino and AC Milan before becoming the chief scout at Novara Calcio.

The Spanish scout was highly esteemed for his work in driving Juventus's policy of pursuing and signing free agents with the likes of Paul Pogba, Pjanic, Dybala, Alex Sandro, Mandzukic etc in the Old Lady squad to make them one of the giants of European football.

His tenure with the Italian side, however, ended one season back when English giants Manchester United hired him as their head scout.

The 37-year-old since this year helped in bringing young talents like Diogo Dalot from FC Porto and promising midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk. He worked alongside chief scout Jim Lawlor and head of global scouting Marcel Bout at United.

However, surprisingly 13 months into his tenure, the footballing brain now has left his job at Old Trafford and gone to Russia to Zenit St. Petersburg as their Sporting director.

Earlier, it was believed that the head scout left the job because of him not getting the proper power to closure some of the deals, however, Ribalta now has come forward expressing his decision to move away from England.

The 37-year-old suggested there is not any bad blood between him and the United hierarchy and he only left the precious Old Trafford job because he could not turn down getting the promotion of being the sporting director of such a big club.

“I’ve been working in football for many years and spent a long time at Juventus and have worked with other Italian clubs, Novara and Torino,” Ribalta said.

“I also spent last year at Manchester United, after many years at Juventus I decided to go there for a challenge. When this proposal from Zenit came I have no doubts, because Zenit is really a very big name and a very large club.”

It's certainly a big loss for a club like United who are still in a transition phase and has not acquired the right talents since Alex Ferguson's departure. But for Ribalta surely this is a move where he can progress in his work further.

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    Story first published: Thursday, August 2, 2018, 13:55 [IST]
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