Arsenal set for pre-season friendly in Malaysia

Arsenal are on the verge of tying up a big-money deal which will see the club play a one-off pre-season friendly in Malaysia this summer.

Manager Arsene Wenger has traditionally opted for low-key warm-up tours but fresh reports emanating out of Asia suggest Arsenal will face the Malaysian national team in July.

Wenger told reporters at the start of March that Japan looked a likely destination for annual pre-season tour, but the recent tsunami devastation put those plans to bed.

Speaking at the Arsenal AGM, the coach said: “I am under pressure from the club to do it [pre-season tour]. But I want to start the season well. If it’s just to make money then no. If for other reasons, then maybe yes.

“We are examining it, but not in a year when the Euros or World Cup years. International players, under FIFA rules, must have four weeks’ holiday.”

Premier League rivals Chelsea and Liverpool are also expected to play friendlies in Malaysia as part of an ‘EPL Festival’, with the former already holding an Asia tour last pre-season.

Arsenal are yet to confirm or release a date for the friendly, although July 14 has been pencilled in by the organisers.


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