Manchester United scouting manager Javier Ribalta to leave club - sources

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Manchester United scouting manager Javier Ribalta is set to leave the club after just 12 months, sources have told ESPN FC.

The Spaniard, who arrived at Old Trafford from Juventus last summer, will join Zenit St Petersburg as their sporting director.

The highly rated recruitment expert, who has also had spells at Novara, Torino and Liverpool, was credited with driving Juventus' policy of signing experienced free agents like Sami Khedira and Dani Alves.

With his help, the Italian side reached the Champions League final in 2017 just a year after selling Paul Pogba to United for a world record fee.

Ribalta, 37, was hired by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to work alongside head of global scouting Marcel Bout and chief scout Jim Lawlor.

His departure will be a blow to United, who had hoped to tap into his intricate knowledge of the transfer market.

The club have yet to confirm whether they will seek to appoint a replacement.