After their spending spree this summer, Manchester United have assembled so much attacking talent that the comparison with the Harlem Globetrotters has been almost impossible to escape.
United, however, could move a step closer to the famous American basketball outfit if plans to play lucrative overseas friendlies during the course of the season is to go ahead.
Missing out on Champions League football will cost United a 10% drop in revenue this season and with the Capital One Cup no longer on the agenda either, following a 4-0 shellacking against MK Dons, Louis Van Gaal’s men will have a lot of time on their hands from now until the end of the season.
That, and the financial hit deriving by missing out on European football’s elite competition for the first time in almost two decades, have prompted the club to consider the opportunity of playing midweek friendlies, with Middle East the more likely destination.
Between now and March, United have only four midweek games left and the prospective of making a quick buck, as well as providing an escape route from the English weather for the likes of Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria, must look to good to be true for the suits at Old Trafford.
“That’s something we continue to look at, as always making sure that the preparations we do on the pitch come first,” United’s managing director, Richard Arnold, was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
“For many of our [pre-season] international tours, there is a plan to ensure we get that team building that goes together with getting the team all together in one place. That’s something that’s being looked at with regards to the future with Louis [van Gaal].”
The club, however, will have to win Van Gaal’s approval, particularly after the United manager criticised the club’s hectic tour schedule this summer.
“I can only speak positively of my experience with the manager in terms of his understanding of what’s required to get a first-class team on to the pitch and also what’s required for running a club of our magnitude,” Arnold said.
“We have a fantastic partnership in terms of our work off the pitch and I’m very appreciative of the support we have had from him.”
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