Sanchez pleads guilty to tax fraud

Alexis Sanchez has pleaded guilty to defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of close to €1m by concealing some of his image rights income while at Barcelona.

Europa Press report the Chilean forward appeared via video link at a Catalan court on Monday to plead guilty, which they believe he has done to avoid going to trial having already paid back €983,443.

The 28-year-old was alleged to have fraudulently filed incorrect tax returns in 2012 and 2013 while playing for the Blaugrana, and was accused of using companies set up in Chile and Malta to defraud the Spanish state.

On top of what the striker has already paid back, he is likely to face a heavy fine and a minimal suspended jail sentence for his actions, although the guilty plea may mean he avoids a court case.

Barca players Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano were also given suspended jail sentences after tax fraud – Messi was found guilty of three counts of tax fraud in 2016 and was fined and handed a suspended 21-month prison sentence, while Mascherano was fined and given a one-year prison sentence which was also suspended.

Tags Alexis Sanchez Arsenal