One week after the Arsenal were dumped out of the UEFA Champions League by Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, the Gunners have announced a pre-season friendly against the Bavarians in Shanghai, China.
The match which will be the first meeting between the two sides outside of Europe will be played at the Shanghai Stadium as part of the International Champions Cup, before Arsenal face Chelsea on July 22 at the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing.
“It will be very special for our Chinese fans to see a game of this stature. We have a fantastic following in China and the two games we are playing there this summer will be an exciting part of our build up for the new season,” the club's chief executive, Ivan Gazidis said on the Gunners' official website.
Kickoff time and ticket details will be confirmed closer to the fixture. It is intended that supporters with official Arsenal China membership will have priority access to tickets and a series of exclusive events.
The fixtures in China will follow the Gunners' pre-season matches in Australia where they meet Sydney FC (July 13) and Western Sydney Wanderers (July 15).
After returning from their travels, the club will launch into final preparations for the Emirates Cup, which is being held on the weekend of Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30. Teams for the Emirates Cup will be finalised
and announced in due course.
The begging question on the lips of the Gunners' followers in China would be whether Arsene Wenger will remain in charge for the club’s pre-season friendlies, with his current contract set to expire in the summer.
Arsene Wenger’s men have played Munich a total of eight times in the last five seasons but this hasn’t stopped the club from arranging a pre-season friendly with the Bundesliga champions.
The north Londoners have now been eliminated by Bayern at the last-16 stage of the competition on three separate occasions across
the past four years. The announcement will surely serve as a source of bewilderment for Arsenal’s fans who have seen their side struggle to overcome the Germans in recent years.