Manchester United considering midweek friendlies abroad

Manchester United players hold aloft the Champions League trophy after winning the tournament in 2008
United were Champions League winners as recently as 2008 - but they are not in this year's tournament

Manchester United are thinking about playing midweek friendlies abroad, says one of the club's directors.

Reports suggest a lack of Champions League football this season could cost United more than £40m.

United's managing director Richard Arnold says lucrative fixtures overseas are something the club will "continue to look at".

An early League Cup exit means they will play only three more midweek games this season, all in the Premier League.

Manchester United's 2014 summer tour
Opposition (Venue)ScoreAttendance
LA Galaxy (Pasadena)W 7-086,432
Roma (Denver)W 3-254,117
Inter Milan (Washington)D 0-0 (W 5-3 pens)61,238
Real Madrid (Michigan)W 3-1109,318
Liverpool (Miami)W 3-151,014

United won the Champions League as recently as 2008, but their seventh-place finish last season under David Moyes meant they missed out on European club football's premier competition for the first time in 19 years.

The club reported a record annual revenue of £433.2m for the financial year 2013-2014, and profits of £23.8m.

But not being in a European competition this year could affect that revenue by around 10%.

More than 100,000 fans watched United's 3-1 win over Real Madrid in Michigan this summer during the side's pre-season tour of the United States.

And Arnold believes manager Louis van Gaal would be receptive to similar fixtures during the Premier League campaign.

"We have a fantastic partnership in terms of our work off the pitch and I'm very appreciative of the support we have had from him," Arnold said.

Louis van Gaal is mobbed by supporters on Manchester United's pre-season tour
Arnold believes manager Van Gaal would be keen on the idea of friendlies during the season

"For many years of our [pre-season] international tours, there is a plan to ensure we get that team building that goes together with getting the team all together in one place.

"That's something that's being looked at."

Meanwhile, United striker Robin van Persie says Van Gaal is installing a Dutch mentality on the squad's meetings.

"It's very demanding in a good way as you have to be focused every single day of the sessions or the meeting," Van Persie says.

"You have to give your own input, which is what the staff likes. That's a bit of the Dutch thing."


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