Manchester United have announced their summer tour will be of the United States and include the 2014 International Champions Cup, although plans would be affected if the club end the season in the third Europa League berth.
While the precise dates of the tour are to be announced, it is expected they will fly out about a week after the World Cup final, with United's opening match of the cup on 26 July, with the final in Miami's Sun Life Stadium on 4 August. The tournament is spread across 12 cities and also features Manchester City, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Internazionale, Milan, Roma and Olympiakos.
United are currently seventh and if they secure the third Europa League berth – possible if they finish sixth or seventh depending on who wins the FA Cup and League Cup – the tour would be disrupted as Europa League qualification would begin in late July. The club are relaxed about this potential scenario. A spokesperson told the Guardian: "There is a long way to go, 42 points to play for, so it is an issue we'll address at the time, if required to do so."
United did note the possibility for their tour to be affected in its official press release regarding the International Champions Cup. "Please note: teams required to qualify for 2014-15 European competition based on 2013-14 domestic league finishing position may be subject to change," the club said. The tournament will feature two groups of eight with the winners of each phase contesting the final. The tour of the US is United's first in three years.
Richard Arnold, the managing director, said: "I'm delighted to announce that the team will be returning to the USA for our 2014 Tour. Since the club's last visit in 2011, the appeal of football in America has grown rapidly. NBC reported that this season's Premier League opening weekend saw the average viewership rise by 78% from the 2012-13 season, with Manchester United's match against Swansea being the most-watched game. Manchester United has over eight million followers in the United States."
International Champions Cup 2014 schedule
26 July Internazionale v Real Madrid, 4pm ET, Phoenix; Roma v Manchester United, 6pm ET, Denver; Olympiacos v Liverpool, 6pm ET, Chicago
Manchester City v Milan, 4pm ET, Pittsburg
Inter v Manchester United, 7:30pm ET, Washington DC
AS Roma v Real Madrid, 9:30pm ET, Dallas
Milan v Liverpool, 7pm ET, Philadelphia
Manchester City v Olympiacos, 9pm ET, New York
Roma v Inter, 8pm ET, New York
Milan vs Olympiakos, 2pm ET, Hartford, Connecticut
Real Madrid v Manchester United, 4pm ET, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Liverpool v Manchester City, 6pm ET, Charlotte, North Carolina
Semi-finals to be played at Sun Life Stadium in Miami
Final game and third place at Sun Life Stadium, Miami