Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez has reportedly admitted owing Spanish tax authorities a total of €983,443 (£864.140, £104.300) during his time at Barcelona. Spanish news agency Europa Press stated the Chile international has admitted his wrongdoing to the court during a brief declaration recorded via video from London.
Earlier in November El Periodico reported that Spanish prosecutor Miguel Angel Perez de Gregorio was investigating the current Arsenal star over an alleged attempt to avoid tax payments on his image rights during his stint at Barcelona.
It was alleged Sanchez failed to include the income generated by his image rights regarding his contract with Barcelona in his tax declaration for 2012 and 2013, ceding the rights to an offshore company called Numidia Trading, located in Malta.
Sanchez's agent, Fernando Felicevich, later confirmed the investigation but denied any wrongdoing, arguing the misunderstanding was due to an "interpretative change in criteria" of the Spanish regulation.
"Alexis Sanchez has fully complied with each and every law in all the countries he has resided in, so he has paid all the taxes to the relevant local authorities. Likewise, all his personal income and the ones related to his image rights have been declared to the different national authorities," the statement released by Sanchez's agent in November read. "The declaration from the Spanish revenue office is based on an interpretative change in criteria of the Spanish regulation that allows the payment of image rights to athletes through a company, as long as it doesn't exceed the 15% of the total payment made by the club. Now the Spanish revenue office understands all income needs to be assigned in full to the person despite the recognition of the tax law and the collective bargaining agreement of said percentage."
However, Spanish news agency Europa Press is now reporting via different publications, including Marca and Sport, that the Arsenal star has admitted the fraud in a Barcelona court via a video declaration from London.
According to the report, the former Barcelona star confessed to two offences against the Spanish revenue worth a total of €983,443. It is also understood that the Arsenal star has already refunded the money to the Spanish authorities and his defence and the prosecutors are now expected to reach an agreement to avoid trial.
Europa Press analyses the former Barcelona star would now have to pay a fine and even accept a prison sentence. However, Sanchez is not expected to serve any time in jail as Spanish statutes for non-violent crimes do not require incarceration for sentences under two years.