Manchester United’s poster to promote their pre-season matches in Thailand and Australia are an indication of which stars they plan to play ahead of next season
Manchester United have dropped major transfer hints on the future of their star players with the announcement of their pre-season tour.
The Red Devils have confirmed that they will travel to Thailand – where they will play arch rivals Liverpool (their first pre-season clash since 2019) – before moving on to Australia where they will face Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace in Melbourne. The Red Devils are yet to appoint a permanent successor to Ralf Rangnick, the process to find their new boss has begun with the likes of Erik ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino in the running.
Liverpool had begun talks over a Far East tour earlier in the year, with Bangkok and Singapore the likely destinations. And a date has been set for the former, with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds due to face United on July 12.
Yet the announcement of the games was arguably more interesting for the players whom the club used to promote the tour. United used three players to market their pre-season tour – in what is widely seen as an indication of players who they may expect to be involved.
The club put Cristiano Ronaldo at the front and center of their pre-season tour poster, flanked either side by Alex Telles and Paul Pogba. The latter is out of contract this summer and there is yet to be any resolution over his contractual situation – with talks at a standstill.
Pogba’s future, in part influenced by agent Mino Raiola, has been played out in public over the past few seasons. Moves to Real Madrid, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have all been touted and could now materialize this summer with the player free to leave. United have allowed Pogba to run down his contract with talks currently shelved over a new deal, although the player himself insists no decision has been made on his next move.
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Ronaldo’s future at Old Trafford is also unclear, with the superstar coming up to the halfway point of his two-year contract at the club. While the Portuguese forward has bagged 18 goals this campaign across all competitions, there has been speculation that he may move on this summer amid the club’s planned changes to management and across their squad. It is widely expected that failure to qualify for the Champions League would see him move on.
United football director John Murtough said: “Pre-season tours are such an important part of the squad’s preparation for the season ahead, so it’s crucial to have excellent training facilities and high-quality opposition. We are delighted that we have both these things during our visits to Bangkok and Melbourne this summer, and we’re looking forward to playing in front of our fans in both cities for the first time in a number of years. ”
The club’s Chief Operating Officer Collette Roche added: “It has been two years since the club has been able to travel on an international pre-season tour, so we can not wait to get going this summer and reconnect with our fans in south- east Asia and Australasia.
“Our matches in Bangkok and Melbourne will be a wonderful opportunity for international fans to see their favorite players up-close in an exciting schedule of games.” The Red Devils, yet to appoint a permanent manager, have faced Liverpool in pre-season on multiple occasions before, most recently being thrashed 4-1 in the United States.