Manchester United’s £14m-a-year superstar given 16-month prison sentence for €1million tax fraud

Alexis Sanchez

Manchester United’s January signing Alexis Sanchez has accepted a 16-month prison sentence after defrauding the Spanish tax authorities for almost €1million, quotes a report from Metro Sports.

The £14m-a-year star did it during his time with Barcelona, and the aforementioned source quotes that the Chilean evaded payments totalling €983,443 (£874,810) in image rights, in 2012 and 2013. The Premier League’s highest-paid player, however, will not be going to jail as he is a first-time offender and the sentence is less than two-years. The Chile international appeared in court via video link in January and pleaded guilty of hiding the capital he earned from the Image Rights.

Following that, he has now been given a 19-month prison suspended sentence, but will not be serving any time in jail. The 29-year-old has agreed to pay all of his debt with interest to the Spanish treasury. Further, reports claim that Sanchez has two years to pay everything back before the suspension is lifted. Manchester United forward has now become the latest verdict of the high-profile players’ list who have been prosecuted by the Spanish court for alleged tax evasion.

Barcelona stalwart Lionel Messi was given a 16-month prison sentence back in 2016 but it was later changed to a €252,000 (£223,000) fine. Former Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano was accused of the same and was given a one-year prison sentence and a €800,000 (£611,000) fine in 2016. Former Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo, on his part, has faced such accusations as well.

This feud, altogether, will come down as a huge-huge relief for Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Sanchez joined Manchester United back on January 23 in a straight swap deal which saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan travel to Arsenal. The Chilean made his first Manchester United appearance against Yeovil Town in the fourth round of the FA Cup and went on to register two assists.

A game against Tottenham followed and although United failed to grab a win, Sanchez undoubtedly remained their best attacking outlay on the night. He scored his first Manchester United goal against Huddersfield and it came as a simple tap-in after Jonas Lossl saved his effort from the spot. United faithful will now just hope the Chilean keeps all this aside when he steps out to face Newcastle United.