Just a year after his arrival, Manchester United head scout Javier Ribalta has left the club to join Zenit St Petersburg.
Ribalta arrived to the UK from Juventus with an impressive CV. He was credited with identifying recent signings Fred and Diogo Dalot. Those players were included on a transfer wish list he reportedly submitted to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward. However, since their arrival, only 35-year-old goalkeeper Lee Grant has been signed.
Ribalta had five successful years in Turin spearheading the club's shrewd transfer policy. The news of his departure comes amidst growing concern amongst certain sections of the Old Trafford fanbase. Anthony Martial continues to push for a move and the club has been strangely inactive in the transfer market while their rivals continue to strengthen.
- Main players not back still after the season starts.
- Not getting the players we want. Only 17 days left of the window.
- Javier Ribalta, our chief scout wants to jump ship already.
- José getting his excuses in early.
This club is in a mess.
— Ryan. 🔴 (@Vintage_Utd) July 23, 2018
Javier Ribalta leaving, Anthony Martial’s future up in the air, Smalling and Jones are still here, Mourinho thinks Young is good enough to be first choice left back, no sign of any new signings. This is depressing.
— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) July 23, 2018
Rumours doing the rounds that Javier Ribalta is set to walk away from @manutd - Don't blame him - what's the point of being chief scout, when the club won't purchase players?
— PjStan (@PjStan70) July 23, 2018
United's Title odds the longest they've been in over 20 years. Says it all
— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) July 23, 2018
Unlike Jose Mourinho to be influenced by a World Cup, but Harry Maguire was certainly not so high up on United's list of centre-back targets two months ago. List featured ambitious targets even club insiders knew were 'not possible and real' #mufc
— Ciaran Kelly (@CiaranKelly__) July 23, 2018
On Javier Ribalta, it’s no surprise he has left after a year. Told he had ‘no power’ and club played down his role. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) July 23, 2018
While there is cause for concern, there is still over two weeks until the end of the transfer window and Ciaran Kelly of Manchester Evening News has reported that there is 'no bad reason' behind Ribalta's departure.
With 17 days left until United's first game of the season against Leicester City, fans will hope rumours of Alex Sandro and Ivan Perišić bids comes to fruition and the club will be well stocked in order to launch a Premier League title challenge.