City to visit South Africa
© AFP

Big-spending English Premier League club Manchester City will visit South Africa during July to play local sides Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

A statement said City will play Pirates on 18 July, Chiefs on 21 July and the winners of a play-off between the Johannesburg clubs in the 25 July final of the Vodacom Challenge.

City are following in the footsteps of fellow Premiership clubs Manchester United, who defeated Chiefs 4-0 in the last final, and 2007 tournament winners Tottenham Hotspur.

Manager Mark Hughes attended a launch ceremony on Monday and said he expected Brazil star Robinho to be in the squad for a second visit by the club to South Africa.

The Challenge is an important part of my pre-season training and at this stage I will be bringing all my top players.
Manchester City manager Mark Hughes.

"The Challenge is an important part of my pre-season training and at this stage I will be bringing all my top players," vowed Hughes, who toured South Africa as a Manchester United striker 16 years ago.

City have been linked with a number of international superstars, including Barcelona and Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o.

The club that has lived in the lengthy shadow of neighbours United for many seasons defeated Santos 1-0 in Cape Town and drew 1-1 with Manning Rangers in Durban during a 1993 tour.

Coastal city Port Elizabeth will host the Chiefs-Pirates fixture and the venues for the City games will be announced later this week with Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria favoured.