Alexis Sanchez accepts sentence over tax issues

Alexis Sanchez, believed to be the best-paid footballer in England, has paid a large fine and accepted a charge of tax fraud relating to his time in Spain. The Chilean, who now plays for Manchester United but was at Barcelona and Arsenal when the allegations emerged, was accused of €1 million (£886,000) of tax fraud relating to unpaid taxes on image rights. 

The plea agreement with the Spanish tax authorities, which meant he avoided a trial, means Sanchez also has a 16-month suspended sentence. The case is similar to that of a number of other footballers, such as former Real Madrid player Angel di Maria, their current midfielder Luka Modric and Sanchez's former Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi, who have all paid fines to avoid jail time.

Cases of this kind have been rare in English football, but Spain has seen a major crackdown on tax evasion by wealthy sports stars in recent years. Others under investigation include Cristiano Ronaldo and former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho.