Manchester United’s friendly against Manchester City in Beijing on Monday could be cancelled.
According to the latest reports, torrential rain forecast in the Chinese capital has put the game on a knife-edge.
United travel to the Chinese capital on Saturday after Friday’s tour opener against Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai. The meeting with City, if it goes ahead, would be the first Manchester derby to be staged on foreign soil.
If the volume of rain that has fallen does lead to the pitch becoming unplayable, organisers may find it difficult to find an alternative venue to the 91,000-seater Olympic Stadium in Beijing. The situation is being monitored as heavy thunderstorms are predicted for the day of the match.
The fierce rivals are scheduled to play in front of a sell-out crowd at the Bird’s Nest Stadium. Both are competing in the International Champions Cup (ICC) this summer.
But thunderstorms and rain forecast on Monday ahead of the 8pm local time kick-off has put the game in doubt.
“It is a concern,” said ICC spokesman Xiaozheng Ben. “The weather has been really bad. But we’re hopeful the game will go ahead.”
It was set to be the first time Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola had met as bosses of their new clubs.
If it does get called off, there are no plans to reschedule the game due to City playing Borussia Dortmund in Shenzhen on July 28.
A United spokesman told The Independent: “We are aware of the bad weather in Beijing but also that the organisers are working very hard on getting the game to go ahead.”
City are due to land in China today.