1. ITV Report

Manchester United could be set for money-spinning match in Australia

Heading Down Under: United boss Sir Alex Ferguson Photo: Press Association

Manchester United could be on the verge of announcing their first appearance in Australia for 14 years next summer.

United officials have been in talks with Football Federation Australia counterparts for a number of months now about Sir Alex Ferguson's men heading Down Under as part of their 2013 pre-season tour.

Although the Premier League giants have yet to confirm their plans, it has been reported in Australia today that the finishing touches are now being applied to a match that would see United take on an A-League All Star team at ANZ Stadium - formerly Stadium Australia - on July 20.

The fixture would come just three days after the final State of Origin rugby league match at the same venue, which currently holds 84,000.

It has been suggested United could earn around £2million for the game which is almost certain to include current A-League star attraction Alessandro Del Piero and maybe also the former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey, if he extends his stay with Aussie side the Newcastle Jets.

Facing United again? Alessandro Del Piero Credit: Press Association

Whether the top Australian players are involved, though, depends how the Australian national team come through qualification for the East Asia Cup, which takes place in South Korea at the same time.

So far, United have confirmed none of their pre-season arrangements.

However, with virtually a full squad available as the only international tournaments next summer are the Confederations Cup, involving Brazil, Spain and Mexico among others - and the CONCACAF Gold Cup, in which Mexico and the United States will be favourites - a lengthy trip can be anticipated.

In October, the Sports Authority of Thailand claimed a Thailand Premier League All Stars team would take on United at the Rajamangala National Stadium in July as part of a Red Devils four-nation tour.