Manchester United's world record-breaking kit deal with Adidas is set to get off to an inauspicious start after boss Louis van Gaal ruled out the possibility of arranging a special friendly to showcase the first new kit under the agreement.
Instead it now seems likely that it will make its first appearance in a reserve friendly before the new season with the current contract with Nike expires.
Manchester United officials wanted to arrange the friendly the week before the season opener on August 8, but according to the Telegraph Van Gaal wants an undisturbed pre-season to prepare for a Premier League title tile in 2015/16.
The problem stems from the fact that the current agreement with Nike runs until the end of July, by which time the club's pre-season tour to America, where new kits are traditionally displayed for the first time, will have finished.
Their final game of the tour comes against Paris Saint-Germain in Chicago on January 29, and the Telegraph report talks with Nike to cut short their agreement so the new Adidas strip can be worn for the first game against Seattle on July 17 have failed.
Van Gaal has spoken previously about his displeasure at Manchester United's packed pre-season schedule last year, which he blames for their poor start to the season which left the Red Devils with just 13 points from 10 games.
Under the Dutchman's guidance they recovered and bagged fourth place to qualify for the Champions League, but he is keen to avoid the same thing happening again and hindering his team's chances of finishing higher up the league.
“We need balance in our selection," he said last month when asked about the impact of pre-season. "I have said this many times. I cannot deny that we need balance. I think also the preparation of our season, Manchester United has already adapted to a better preparation.
“We shall have two bases in the US so we are not flying between matches, we are going via bus which is better. They have adapted to my criteria so we shall have a better preparation.
“We have started very badly this year. When you cut out the start we shall equal Chelsea but we have to start better. When I previewed our preparation now it looks better but we have to see of course. Then we have to make the balance in our selection better and then we have to perform better than this year.”
Anticipation ahead of the launch of Adidas' first Manchester United kit has been high in recent months, with numerous images leaking onto the web claiming to be of the kit. The German firm forked out a record £750 million to secure a 10-year agreement, replacing Nike who pay a reported £25 million a year to be associated with the Red Devils.
Louis van Gaal is well within his rights to get the exact pre-season he wants. Last year was something of a sham made worse by his late arrival from the World Cup and if he wants to close the huge gap to Chelsea he'll need all the time he can get to prepare his squad.
That job will be made all the more difficult because there is likely to be a huge influx of new players this summer, so a meaningless friendly just before the start of the season to parade a kit is the last thing he needs.
Should Van Gaal be tearing his hair out over the demand from Man Utd's board?
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