Manchester United in talks to play in SAR on summer tour The Hong Kong national team are being courted to provide the opposition for Manchester United on the English giants' planned visit to the SAR as part of next summer's tour, but the Hong Kong Football Association won't be risking millions of dollars to bring them here. The four-match tour in July and August next year, which will include two games in Japan, a match against Chinese Super League club Beijing Hyundai Guoan on July 26 and, provisionally, a game in Hong Kong, is being arranged by international sports marketing giant IMG which holds the rights to the trip. 'We'll be having formal announcements with senior people from Manchester United coming out in due course. I can't say anything more than that,' said Malcolm Thorpe, the Hong Kong-based international vice-president for IMG Asia, who did confirm that the Red Devils' visit would be co-ordinated from IMG's office in Causeway Bay. Having been undercut by rival cities in their attempts to attract Barcelona for their 90th anniversary celebrations, the Hong Kong Football Association was also reluctant to comment, or even to admit that that the national team were the side being talked about as the possible opposition for the seven-time Premier League champions. 'There is a promoter trying to bring Manchester United to Hong Kong. We welcome that and our discussions have been positive so far,' was all that HKFA general secretary Martin Lam Chun-ying was willing to say on the subject. The only other likely contender for the right to play the Old Trafford club would be ambitious Kitchee, who this year organised their own games against AC Milan (who they beat) and Newcastle United, but chief executive Ken Ng Kin quickly scotched the suggestion. 'I have made proposals to some other major European teams to come, but this one is not me,' he declared. 'We will be competing for the same paying public. For Hong Kong football in general it's good to have Manchester United here because the Hong Kong Football Association will make some money.' However, one football insider speaking anonymously did warn that the visit was not as cut and dried as might be hoped. 'It's still iffy at the moment,' the source said. 'It's not all confirmed and there are some details that could be deal-breakers if they were to become public knowledge now.' If the deal can be finalised, it would be the sixth time that Manchester United had visited Hong Kong, but the first time to play against the national team. The last three visits have been to play the once mighty South China. In 1999 they disappointed their legion of Hong Kong fans by arriving without several stars including David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer, although their lineup for a 2-0 victory in temperatures topping 33 degrees still included the core of the squad that claimed a treble, unprecedented in English football, of the European Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup. The HKFA has announced that it has a limited number of tickets available for next Wednesday's World Cup qualifying match against China, a game which could result in the mainland's elimination. Tickets for the game at the Tianhe Stadium (priced $100, $250 and $400) can be claimed, with a maximum of two per caller, by telephoning Leung on 2193-7362.