Monday 12 December 2011 9:03 pm

Arsenal to conquer new frontier with pre-season tour of Nigeria

ARSENAL chiefs are planning to take the club into new territory next summer by embarking on a pre-season tour to Africa. The Gunners are in talks about playing a number of matches in Nigeria next summer, before the 2012-13 campaign gets underway. Other tours are also being discussed and it is understood Arsenal could schedule a repeat of last summer’s trip to the Far East. Arsenal have more scope for playing abroad next year as they have cancelled the Emirates Cup, their traditional pre-season tournament, because of the London 2012 Olympics. The club has a particularly large following in Africa, thanks to stars such as Cameroon’s Alex Song, Ivorian Gervinho and Morocco’s Marouane Chamakh. Profile-raising and often lucrative, foreign tours have become increasingly common among the Premier League’s elite, with Manchester United and Chelsea visiting Asia and the United States in recent years. Arsenal, meanwhile, have lost defender Andre Santos for three months after doctors advised the Brazilian needs surgery on his ankle ligament injury.