REDDIES DEVILS ; EXCLUSIVE United for hire kit deal lined up to lift finances Middle East game and training [People, The (England)]
(People, The (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) MANCHESTER UNITED are in talks over a money-spinning game in the Middle East in January as the club looks to cover the cost of failing to qualify for the Champions League.
Old Trafford bosses also want to cash in on a deal for their training kit as revenue will be hit by the side's failure to finish in the top four.
Sunday People Sport understands either of the Milan sides - AC or Inter - will provide the opposition as they be on their winter break in Serie A.
Like United, AC and Inter both failed to qualify for Europe's elite competition and are also exploring other revenue streams.
Although United are expected to earn around Pounds 12million from their five-match tour of America this summer the club's hierarchy reckon they will lose Pounds 30m from not being in the Champions League.
United's Mayfair-based commercial and marketing departments are now understood to be in overdrive to cash in on the brand in any way possible.
The January game is likely to be staged in Qatar or Dubai, with the Qatari Football Federation keen to put a positive spin on their controversial 2022 World Cupwinning bid, which has caused a storm of protest.
United staged a warm weather training break at the Dubai Sports Complex earlier this year, and the club view the UAE as the perfect winter break destination.
New Old Trafford boss Louis van Gaal has already been told of the plan and the Dutchman has given the go-ahead for the game.
The deposed Premier League Champions are close to announcing a new main kit contract worth a massive Pounds 650m.
A deal for the club's training gear is also in the pipeline, and talks have been held with Japanese firm Uniqlo to supply kit for had would Van in their Carrington training centre.
United broke fresh ground when DHL sponsored the club's training ground shirts before main sponsors AON took over the agreement as part of their naming rights of the Carrington training complex.
Now United are maximising their sponsorship openings with a ruthless efficiency. And some fans believe that even selling the naming rights for Old Trafford itself is on the agenda if United face a prolonged spell out of the Champions League.
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