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Manchester United to face Spurs in Shanghai pre-season match


London (AFP) – Manchester United will play Premier League top-four rivals Tottenham in a pre-season glamour friendly in Shanghai, the Old Trafford club said on Wednesday.

At least six major English clubs will visit China this summer, with Manchester City, Newcastle, West Ham and Wolves taking part in the Premier League Asia Trophy on July 17 in Nanjing and July 20 in Shanghai.

United will face Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs on July 25 in Shanghai, by which time the future of interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be resolved.

They will also play Inter Milan in Singapore on July 20 after two previously announced matches in Australia, against Perth Glory on July 13 and English rivals Leeds, also in Perth, on July 17. 

United also announced they would play AC Milan on August 3 in Cardiff.

Conditions are likely to be testing in Shanghai in July, when temperatures can exceed 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), with high humidity and the likelihood of heavy rain.

But the Premier League and clubs see such trips as a prime opportunity to grow their fan bases in China, the world’s second-biggest economy.

In 2016 the first Manchester derby due to be played overseas had to be cancelled at the last minute when the pitch at Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium was deemed unplayable because of rain.

United in January said they were opening a number of “entertainment and experience centres” in China, where they claim to have more than 100 million followers.

Barcelona are also scheduled to visit China in the summer.

“These games, and the tour overall, will not only assist in our pre-season preparations, but also provide entertaining football and an opportunity to interact with our loyal fans in Australasia and Asia,” said Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward.

“This will be our third visit to Singapore and our 15th pre-season visit to China and we’re excited to be returning to both countries to play against top-class opposition there.”

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