Manchester United to face Cerezo Osaka in July


English Premier League powerhouse Manchester United announced Thursday that it will play a summer friendly against J.League first-division side Cerezo Osaka.

The game, set for July 26 at Osaka’s Nagai Stadium, should be a nostalgic one for Red Devils and Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa, who began his career with the Osaka club.

Manchester United’s website published a message from the club’s chief executive.

“We first visited Japan more than 20 years ago and our fans have always shown great support for the club. We are all looking forward to returning and playing a great game against Cerezo Osaka, which will allow us to prepare for the 2013-2014 season,” said David Gill.

The game will come three days after manager Alex Ferguson’s squad takes on Yokohama F. Marinos at Nissan Stadium. The Red Devils will be making their first tour through Japan in six years.