Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has reportedly accepted a one-year prison sentence as part of a deal with Spanish prosecutors who accused him of a €3.3 million (£3 million) tax fraud.

The Old Trafford boss was handed six-month jail sentences for each of two charges of financial crimes, as part of the plea bargain with prosecutors, Spanish newspaper El Mundo said today.

The former Real Madrid coach will escape spending time in prison as first-time offenders in Spain do not usually serve sentences of two years or less.

He has also agreed to a fine equivalent to 60 per cent of the amount defrauded, or €1.98 million (£1.78 million), although payments he has already made means he will only have to hand over €669,323 (£603,000) to the Spanish treasury, according to the report.

The charges relate to income for image rights in 2011 and 2012 that were said to have been hidden from tax authorities by being funnelled through a British Virgin Islands company, Koper Services, and Irish and Swiss companies, before ending up in the New Zealand-based Kaitaia Trust which had Mourinho’s wife and children as named beneficiaries.

It was also claimed false information was given to Spain’s tax agency during a 2015 probe, prompting prosecutors to reopen a case that had been archived after Mourinho paid a six-figure fine.

One allegation was that the Spanish taxman was given fictitious expenses to make it appear that an offshore shell company Mourinho benefited from was functioning as an active firm. Mourinho was summoned to court following revelations by the European Investigative Collaborations consortium, which includes El Mundo, German newspaper Der Spiegel and the Sunday Times.

He had played down any suggestion of wrongdoing after a closed hearing at Pozuelo de Alarcon Court of Investigation in Madrid last November. He insisted he had left Spain four years earlier with the “information and conviction his tax situation was perfectly legal … I did not answer, I did not argue. I paid and signed with the state that I am in compliance and the case is closed.”

The sentence comes during a difficult start to the season for the 55-year-old, with Manchester United losing two of four opening Premier League games.Yesterday he told reporters he was too expensive to sack because his £15 million-a-year contract guarantees him a payoff of one year’s salary. His spokesman was not available for comment.

Spain has cracked down on tax evasion, with United winger Alexis Sanchez accepting a 16-month prison term. Cristiano Ronaldo, who played under Mourinho at Real, got a suspended two-year term and was fined nearly £17 million.

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