Barcelona have reportedly turned down the chance to play West Ham in the opening game at the club’s new stadium.
According to the Mirror, the Catalan giants have a number of offers on the table for short-haul friendlies this summer, as well as further afield – one of which was the curtain-raiser at the Olympic Stadium.
However, the club have turned down the opportunity to travel anywhere during pre-season to try and better condition their players ahead of the new season.
In a move uncommon in recent times given the lucrative nature of pre-season tours, Barcelona believe they may pick up an advantage from not travelling anywhere from Spain during their preparations.
It’s unclear yet as to what will indeed be the first game at the Hammers’ new stadium, but what is clear is that it won’t be Barcelona, despite an invite being sent their way to be part of the opening fixture.
World renowned Barcelona would have been a fitting start to the tenure of West Ham at the former London 2012 stadium.
The 54,000 fans expected to descend on the ground for its first game will have to wait a little bit longer to find out who their side will be up against.
Who would you pick as an ideal first opponent? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter – @ReadWestHam