Manchester United FC

Quick stop in China: Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal won battle to reduce touring time in Beijing and Shanghai

Red Devils boss pleased to limit the time his side spends in China after complaining about air quality and humidity

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 April, 2016, 1:43pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 April, 2016, 1:49pm

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal hit out at the club’s planned pre-season trip to China and said he managed to convince executives at Old Trafford to cut the money-spinning trip short.

I have played as a player in a tournament in Shanghai and we could not train. It is only because of the commercial reasons that we are going
Louis van Gaal

The Dutchman claimed poor air quality and pollution would combine to hinder the club’s preparations for next season’s Premier League campaign.

“I was involved in every step of the planning, the club wanted to go for a fortnight but I got it down to eight days, which is more like six days,” he said.

“I have played as a player also in a Shanghai tournament and we couldn’t train – the air and the humidity. It is only because of the commercial reasons that we are going. I know a club like Manchester United must do that, but it is not a very good preparation.”

United will participate in the International Champions Cup in China. They will meet Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai on July 22, before facing Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City outfit in a highly-anticipated derby game in Beijing on July 25.

Former Netherlands manager Van Gaal, who was widely expected to be replaced at the end of this season, has fought off constant speculation about his future at the 20-time English champions during a disappointing campaign.

Buoyed by Fergie’s public backing, Louis van Gaal sets Manchester United's sights on top three

Speculation of his departure intensified last week when it emerged he had been left off the club’s promotional materials for the upcoming tour.

However, he was given a boost earlier this week when legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson called on Manchester United supporters to give Van Gaal more time.

The 64-year-old is almost two years into his three-year deal with the club.

Manchester United and Manchester City to face off in China in July

Manchester United last toured the Far East in 2013 when they played an exhibition game in Hong Kong against local outfit Kitchee.

The game was best remembered for its swathes of unsold tickets and the abysmal state of the playing surface, which drew strong criticism from the tourists.