The English Premier League's (EPL) Barclays Asia Trophy is set to return to Hong Kong next year, according to a source close to the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA). No official confirmation was forthcoming yesterday from the HKFA, but it is understood the organisation and the EPL have started negotiations to stage the fifth edition of the showpiece in Hong Kong, three years after it was last held in the city with great success. Chelsea, Aston Villa and Sunderland are believed to be the teams most likely to visit. The promotional tournament is held every other year in a different Asian city. One side from the top end of the Premier League, one from the middle, one from the lower end plus a side from the host venue play four matches over two days, the winners from the initial two matches facing off in the final for the trophy with the losers meeting in a curtain-raiser. EPL chief executive Richard Scudamore would visit Hong Kong next month to iron out the details with the HKFA, according to the source. Hong Kong Stadium has been reserved by the HKFA for the week of July 25-31. 'Hong Kong is on top of the Premier League's list of potential hosts because we staged the most successful Asia Trophy in its history,' said the source. 'The fans were great, the teams were well treated and there was great football when the Asia Trophy was held here in 2007. There is no reason why they won't want to return to Hong Kong.' The tournament could also bring in needed funds for the HKFA. 'This is an EPL promotional tournament and they will bear all the costs of getting the teams here as well as other operating expenses,' said the source. 'On the other hand, the HKFA will get an endorsement fee from the EPL and stands to get a slice of the gate receipt if tickets sales are above a certain level.' At the 2007 tournament, more than 75,000 fans filled Hong Kong Stadium on the two match days to watch Portsmouth, Liverpool, Fulham and local representatives South China in action, bringing in total gate receipts of HK$15 million. In the final, Portsmouth beat Liverpool 4-2 on penalties to win the trophy after a goal-less draw in normal time, with Pompey goalkeeper David James saving penalties from Yossi Benayoun and Fernando Torres. Fulham beat the Caroliners 4-1 in the third-place play-off. 'The visiting EPL teams are usually announced in December but it is believed the EPL has already approached the three teams and all three have indicated their interest in taking part. Chelsea missed the last Asia Trophy in Beijing and the EPL double champions will definitely be big crowd pullers,' said the source. 'The ticket prices will not be set too high as it is a promotional event. The EPL wants to see lots of bums on seats and is not interested in short-term profit from the tournament.' Ticket prices for the 2007 tournament were set at HK$350 the most expensive and others at $250, $200, $150 and $100. Similar prices are expected for next year's tournament. South China are likely to represent Hong Kong again as the HKFA is considering offering the place to the league champions. The Caroliners have won four times in a row and are likely to win again next season. 'There would be more at stake in the race for the league title if Hong Kong host the trophy again,' the source said. 'It will be good for both the fans and the First Division teams.' South China were chosen for the 2007 tournament as the FA Cup champions of that season. The first Asia Trophy was held in Malaysia in 2003, featuring Chelsea, Newcastle United, Birmingham City and the Malaysian national team. The tournament then was moved to Bangkok two years later, followed by the 2007 version in Hong Kong. Tottenham Hotspur won the trophy when thetournament was held in Beijing in 2009.