Uefa concern over Reds' American pre-season plans
Manchester United will face Real Madrid 24 hours after a potentially unwanted Europa League tie if they finish sixth this season.
The club are set to confirm a number of glamorous pre-season fixtures in the USA which will fall during the week that the third qualifying round of Uefa's secondary competition is to take place.
It could leave David Moyes to juggle his resources between two continents as United risk the wrath of Uefa by playing a weakened line-up in the Europa League matches.
Moyes's squad would enter the Europa League at the third qualifying stage if they finish sixth and Manchester City deny Sunderland a place by beating them in the Capital One Cup final, otherwise a fifth place Premier League finish would see the Reds come in later - at the end of August.
That would not interfere with the schedule of friendly clashes in the states against Roma in Denver (July 26), Inter in Washington (July 29), Real (Aug 1 or 2) and against an unnamed opponent in Miami (Aug 3 or 4).
Inter Milan currently face the same issue in Italy as they chase a top-three finish to avoid the Europa League whereas United only need to finish fourth.