Why Javier Ribalta could be the key for Alvaro Morata’s Manchester United transfer

by Sam Peoples

Alvaro Morata is a striker who many are expecting to become Manchester United’s new No.9 this summer and it could be the arrival of a new member for Jose Mourinho’s backroom staff which makes it all the more likely.

Juventus’ head of scouting Javier Ribalta has officially left the club and Gianluca di Marzio is reporting that Man United will be his next club after five very successful years at Juventus.

It will be an excellent acquisition by Mourinho in scouting terms but his relationship with fellow Spaniard Alvaro Morata might be the cherry on top which pleases United fans the most.

Interestingly enough, Ribalta’s close relationship with Alvaro Morata is believed to have been one of the key reasons Morata was able to settle down in Turin. This piece on Ribalta from May 2017 discusses how close he was with Morata and that was clearly a two-way relationship.

Back when he left the club in 2016, Morata wrote an open letter thanking the club, staff and fans. Here’s an extract and you might recognise a certain name: “Thanks to president Andrea Agnelli, Pavel Nedved, John Elkan, Giuseppe Marotta, Matteo Fabris and above all to Fabio Paratici and Javier Ribalta. Thanks to all the people who work for this immense club that is Juventus. Workers, physiotherapists, doctors, security, chefs. In brief, thanks to all who are part of Juve.”

Morata personally thanking Ribalta goes to show that there was something deeper and more personal between the pair, something which will have United fans rubbing their hands together because while Ribalta’s arrival doesn’t guarantee Morata’s, it certainly makes the environment more familiar which will always help in pushing through a transfer.

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