Manchester United risk angering Louis van Gaal by planning a pre-season tour of China and its surrounding countries for next year, according to reports.
The Daily Telegraph claim that two of United’s sponsor powerhouses, Chevrolet and Aon, are keen to make use of the club’s incredible fan base in the Far East - the Red Devils haven’t embarked on a large scale tour of the area since 2009.
Chevrolet and Aon account for around £75million of United’s annual commercial revenue (translation: they’re very important) and so it’s unlikely they’ll be refused in their wishes, despite the fact Van Gaal has publicly caused a fuss in the past over such matters.
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When the Dutchman was first appointed as United’s new manager last summer one of his first unsavoury run-ins with the powers that be at Old Trafford was the fact that he had to take his side on a protracted tour of the US.
This year there was no such debacle, with Van Gaal himself taking control of the planning and preparation ahead of the new season.
United are currently in the States, but it would appear their manager is happy the experience won’t have had a negative impact come August 8 when the Premier League campaign kicks off.
It’s believed it’s Chevrolet who are leading the charge for United to tour the Far East in a big way next summer, as they see China as a focal point in their business strategy moving forward.
The Telegraph’s report highlights how the car manufacturer has closed down European operations to focus on the Asian market, implying that the Red Devils are just a small part of a much larger picture.
As a consequence Van Gaal’s opinion probably won’t count for much, even if he stamps his feet as expected.
Impact on the future
On top of the tour the Dutchman would also have Euro 2016 to contend with, and the obvious effect of many of his players returning late for their pre-season camp due to their international participation in France.
In any case it will be an interesting situation to cast an eye over. Van Gaal has already confirmed that he has plans to retire in 2017 as he wants to spend more time with his wife, so keeping him perfectly content isn’t likely to be top of any club chief’s plans for the future.
United fans, what do you think about the proposed tour? Does Van Gaal have a right to be annoyed? Let us know in the comments box below.