Alexis Sanchez absence from Manchester United‘s pre-season tour is down to a visa issue.
Jose Mourinho and co. began their preparations for the upcoming season earlier this week. In an interview, the United boss confirmed that 12 members of the squad are unlikely to feature in the opening game against Leicester, as they recover from their World Cup commitments.
This means Alexis Sanchez is likely to lead the line for the Red Devils for the beginning of the season. The Chilean International was allowed to make his trip to the USA on a later date, as he enjoyed his first summer without football in five years.
But Sanchez’s arrival has been delayed even further. According to BBC reporter Simon Stone, the 29-year is finding it difficult to obtain a visa to the States, as he accepted a suspended sentence for tax fraud earlier this year.
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In February, Sanchez’s agent revealed that the former Barcelona winger pleaded guilty in a tax fraud case and was sentenced to 16 months in jail, but accepted a deal with Spanish authorities to suspend the jail term. The Chilean was found guilty for using a company based in Malta to receive image rights paid by the Catalan club.
He agreed to the charges and promised to repay the amount in full plus interest. Since the sentence was less than two years, the court suspended his jail time.
Understand Alexis Sanchez's present absence from @ManUtd tour is due to visa issue. He accepted 16-month suspended jail sentence in Spain in February. Could be granted a waiver but process taking longer than anticipated.
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) July 16, 2018
Sanchez joined the long list of players to be found guilty of tax fraud and accept a suspended sentence to avoid jail time. Most recently, Cristiano Ronaldo was sentenced in a case of tax fraud and accepted a deal with Spanish authorities.
The Chilean International could join the squad in the coming weeks, but there is no timeline set on it.
This a huge blow for Jose Mourinho, as Sanchez will require some minutes under his belt before leading the forward line in the absence of Lukaku and Rashford.