Arsenal could return to the Far East next summer with speculation building that Arsene Wenger’s men will participate in the Barclays Asia Trophy, set to be held in Singapore.
The four-team tournament, which features three sides from the English top-tier and a host club, has visited the region every two years since 2003 being hosted by Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Beijing and Hong Kong.
There’s no official confirmation that Singapore have won the rights to the competition, although The Straits Times claims a deal has been agreed for the new National Stadium to host games in mid-July.
Arsenal haven’t played in the sovereign city-state since 1991 when they beat Liverpool on penalties in the Caltex Cup; David Seaman saving the decisive spot-kick from Ian Rush after Nigel Winterburn’s last-minute equaliser.
It remains to be seen whether Singapore is the focus of the tour or if the Gunners see it as a stepping stone to another region. Australia is looking to lure European clubs Down Under for games in Melbourne while their Antipodean cousins in New Zealand tried to organise similarly high profile games last year.
Last summer the Gunners pre-season preparations were stunted by the late-finishing World Cup, but they did find time for a quick jaunt to New York where they lost to Thierry Henry’s Red Bulls.
After years shunning extravagant globe-trotting the lure of big bucks and brand expansion opportunities has seen Arsenal travel to Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Japan in the last few years.