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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

United want Real Madrid to open extended Old Trafford

David Beckham could be heading back to Manchester United - for a mouth-watering pre-season friendly.

After missing out on Barcelona and AC Milan, United have now offered Real Madrid the opportunity to play at Old Trafford on August 8 or 9 in a game which will officially open the new corner quadrants at the Theatre of Dreams.

United are aware they may have to wait until Real's on-going presidential elections are concluded on July 2 before getting a firm response but they are hopeful an agreement can be reached for a clash which would guarantee a 76,000 sell-out.

While the game would offer Sir Alex Ferguson's men the opportunity to avenge their 2003 Champions League quarter-final exit at the hands of the Spanish giants, the major attraction would be the return of Beckham, who left Old Trafford a couple of months after he was sensationally axed for the second leg of that European game.

It could also represent a quick return to England for Sven-Goran Eriksson, who presidential candidate Arturo Baldasano claims he has lined up to take over at the Bernabeu after the World Cup.

Real are currently free on the dates United have put to them, although they are due to take on Major League Soccer outfit Real Salt Lake City in Utah on August 12.

The Red Devils will be keen to secure Real as opponents for, with Juventus in turmoil, they may find it difficult to attract opponents of world renown for their grand opening if the Madrid outfit turn them down.

Of the remaining genuine European heavyweights, Inter Milan have already agreed to appear alongside United - but not play against them - in this summer's Amsterdam tournament, as well as take on Tottenham at White Hart Lane on July 30, while Bayern Munich's pre-season schedule is already confirmed ahead of the new Bundesliga campaign which begins on August 12.