Manchester United’s Carrington training ground will be abuzz once more on Monday morning, as players return from holiday to begin pre-season preparations.
Most of Sir Alex Ferguson’s first-team squad will report for duty, although some have been granted extended breaks due to summer international commitments. Antonio Valencia certainly won’t be joining his United team-mates: he’s currently in Argentina, competing in the Copa America tournament with Ecudaor.
The Reds will spend seven days in Manchester before jetting to the United States on Monday 11 July for a three-week, five-game pre-season tour.
United’s American adventure will feature games against New England Revolution, Seattle Sounders, Chicago Fire, MLS All-Stars and Barcelona, while also giving some fans the chance to watch the team train and attend exclusive meet-and-greet signing sessions.
By the end of July’s tour, Sir Alex’s men should be reaching a level close to peak fitness. Then, there’s just the Paul Scholes testimonial game on 5 August and an open training session at Old Trafford on 6 August to complete before the season begins at Wembley on Sunday 7 August with the Community Shield clash against Manchester City.