Man United announce China tour in July

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Manchester United will tour China in July as part of their preparations for the 2016-17 season, the English Premier League giants announced on Tuesday.

United will spend eight days in the country and play two matches, with fixture dates, venues, opposition teams and ticket details to be announced in the coming days.

It will be United’s 11th trip to China, where the club estimates it has 107 million supporters.

“Manchester United has strong historical links with China and we are very proud of our relationship and of our fans throughout the country,” United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said in a statement.

“A total of almost 500,000 supporters have attended previous games during our visits to China and we have always enjoyed exceptional support in the country, so naturally it is something that everybody is very much looking forward to this summer.”

United’s most recent game in China was a fixture against Kitchee SC in July 2013, which was attended by a sell-out 40,000 crowd.

China has become a key commercial battleground for the Premier League’s leading teams.

A Chinese consortium bought a 13 percent stake in the parent group of United’s cross-town rivals Manchester City in December, two months after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the club during a state tour.

On Tuesday, City announced a new regional partnership with sports activity brand SoccerWorld, which will see coaches from City visit China twice a year to train local coaches.

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