Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Manchester United's World Cup players could come into consideration for a friendly in Dublin on 4th August.
Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick, Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Park Ji-sung and new signing Javier Hernandez have all been granted extra rest after playing for their countries in South Africa this summer.
They have not linked up with the rest of the United squad on their pre-season tour of North America and will only return to training next Wednesday.
Ferguson has previously insisted that he will not rush his World Cup stars back into action, suggesting that some may not be ready for the Premier League opener against Newcastle on 16th August.
However, it now seems these players could feature against an Aircity League XI in the first football match at the Aviva Stadium on 4th August.
"They have a chance of playing in that. It depends on their progress when they come back on July 28," said Ferguson.
Ferguson has stressed that he is happy with the current squad at his disposal but transfer speculation is sure to continue until the summer window closes at the end of August.
One player linked with a move away from Old Trafford is Vidic, with some of Europe's top clubs thought to be monitoring his situation.
Ferguson remains confident that the Serbian centre-back will stay at the club.
Pressed on whether Vidic would be a Manchester United player at the start of the season, he responded: "I believe so."