Manchester City will send their official formation to Vietnam for an exhibition game next month, but without Argentines Sergio Aguero and Pablo Zabaleta, the Vietnamese bank that will spend one million pounds on organizing the friendly said Monday.
The English Premier League side have accepted the invitation to play a friendly with the Vietnamese national team by the Saigon Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB), chairman Do Quang Hien told reporters in Hanoi yesterday.
Sixty-five members of the Premier League runners-up will have a three-day visit to Vietnam starting July 26, with the match kicking off in Hanoi on the second day, Hien said, citing an email he received from the club.
The two are scheduled to ink the final agreement in the next couple of days, according to the SHB chairman.
Hien guaranteed that Manchester City will use their official formation for the game at My Dinh National Stadium, but Aguero and Zabaleta had asked not to participate.
The Argentine players are playing at the Copa America, whose finale falls on July 4, with their national squad.
“However, SHB is still persuading the two to join the Vietnam trip,” Hien said.
SHB will earmark around £1million (US$1.58 million) for the event, where Manchester City footballers will not only play in the game but will also have exchange activities with Vietnamese fans, Hien told the media meeting.
“Tickets to the match will be set at reasonable prices for most local fans,” Hien promised.
SHB, however, is hoping the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and the Vietnam Football Federation will help it to agree on a lower organizing fee with the management board of the My Dinh stadium.
The stadium has demanded a fee of VND1.2-1.5 billion ($55,100-68,900) to organize the friendly, which its director Can Van Nghia said has been included in the price list approved by the sports ministry.
“We have submitted the prices to the VFF for more than a year,” Nghia told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Monday.
Hien is the sponsor of two V-League clubs, SHB Da Nang and Hanoi T&T. The V-League is Vietnam’s top-tier football championship.
Manchester City finished second in the 2014-15 Premier League with 79 points, eight points adrift of champions Chelsea.
In 2012, club captain Vincent Kompany visited Vietnam at the invitation of another local lender.
In July 2013, another Premier League side, Arsenal, also had a friendly with the Vietnamese national football team in Hanoi, where they beat the hosts 7-1.
Manchester City are one of the English clubs with the most fans in Vietnam, besides Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Chelsea.