Environment friendly for United - Fletcher

Published Jul. 13, 2010 4:11 a.m. ET

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher believes the Red Devils have the perfect environment for their summer tour.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side arrived at their training base in Chicago ahead of matches in Toronto - on Friday - Philadelphia, Kansas, Houston and finally Guadalajara.

There was a low-key welcome for the coaching staff as well as the players - and that is what makes the tour so attractive in Fletcher's eyes.

"Pre-season is important business in terms of getting fit for the start of the season, but there will be some time for relaxation, which the players will enjoy," said the Scotland midfielder.

"There won't be thousands of fans outside the hotel so maybe the lads will be able to get into the cities and take in a few sights."

Fletcher is eager to face Celtic, under new manager Neil Lennon, in Canada this week.

"It is a great tour," the 26-year-old told MUTV. "We've not been there in a while (since 2004).


"And although three weeks is going to be a long time to be away, there will be some good games.

"Personally, playing against Celtic will be interesting as I will be up against a few of my Scotland team-mates. But I'm looking forward to it all really."

United boss Ferguson arrived in style ahead of his squad at their hotel in Chicago, courtesy of a chauffeur-driven limousine.

The players followed minutes later by coach. Only a sprinkling of photographers and video operators recorded their arrival in the city and O'Hare Airport in front of a few bemused onlookers.

The squad are getting ready to train in Chicago, where they lost to Bayern Munich on penalties in the opening game of their 2004 tour.

Meanwhile United major sponsor Aon plans to give the team's new shirt, retailing at 80 dollars (£53), to their 36,000 plus employees as a thank-you, according to Sports Business Daily.

The shirt is due to be unveiled tomorrow in Chicago following a four-year partnership between club and company.

No official figures have been given but the deal has been reported in various outlets to be worth between 120 million dollars (£79.6million) to 130 million dollars (£86.2million).

Aon global chief marking officer Phil Clement told Sports Business Daily: "No-one would call it inexpensive.

"But based on what we knew about how we could use it, there were numbers that would make it a good value."

On the design of the new shirt, Clement added: "That Aon leadership model is a round diagram, but it just doesn't inspire the same passion as when we draw it with a Manchester United soccer ball. For some reason, that captures everyone's attention a bit more."