Arsenal star Alexis accused of tax evasion during Barcelona spell

Regolare Commento Stampare

Prosecutors in Spain have been casting their net over La Liga's top footballers in a bid to clamp down on potential tax loopholes, with top names like Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano falling fowl to investigations.

The Arsenal star, who started in Tuesday night's 3-2 Champions League win against Ludogorets, is alleged to have defrauded the Spanish Treasury in 2012 and 2013.

Sanchez moved to Barcelona from Udinese in 2011 and joined the Gunners in 2014 after he failed to become a regular starter for the Blaugrana.

According to El Periodico, the court of Barcelona has now filed a complaint against Alexis for alleged tax fraud to the sum of €983,443.

It is his time with the Catalan giants that has led prosecutors to level accusations of tax evasion to the sum of nearly €1 million between 2012 and 2013.

The Chilean allegedly transferred his image rights to a company named Numidia Trading and failed to declare his ownership, despite having a 99 percent stake.

The Gunners star owns 99% of the company.

However, he transferred his image rights to Chilean company Inversiones Alsan in 2008, before the Numidia deal was signed and before moving to Barcelona, prosecutors said.

According to El Periodico, a newspaper based in Catalonia, Sanchez did not pay income tax on earnings of almost £900,000 during his time at Barcelona in 2012 and 2013. (Getty Images) Messi was given a 21-month suspended sentence after being found guilty of tax fraud.

Mascherano was sentenced to a year in prison but avoided doing any time after agreeing to pay a fine of £625,000 for two tax offences. However it must be assumed that if he is, he will follow suit and make a settlement in lieu of a spell behind bars.