Manchester United kick-off pre-season training in America without Alexis Sanchez

  • Manchester United kick-off pre-season training in America without Alexis Sanchez

Manchester United kick-off pre-season training in America without Alexis Sanchez

Last season's FA Cup finalists flew to Los Angeles on Sunday, but Sanchez was a notable absentee, with United later confirming that the player was left in England because of "personal administrative issues".

Alexis Sanchez was not on Manchester United's flight to the United States because of difficulties getting a travel visa, sources have told ESPN FC. It is thought to relate to Sánchez being unable to obtain a United States visa, possibly due to his acceptance of a 16-month prison sentence in February for tax fraud in Spain for an alleged €1m relating to image rights.

Sanchez faced going to trial in Spain over unpaid taxes of around €1 million relating to image rights deals between 2012 and 2013 when he was playing for Barcelona.

Spanish law is such that any sentence under two years for a non-violent crime rarely requires a defendant without previous convictions to serve jail time. However, there is a waiver scheme and Sanchez's lawyers are working on it to avail permission to attend the pre-season.

United face Club America in Arizona on Thursday in their opening pre-season fixture, and will play five matches, including games against Liverpool, Real Madrid and AC Milan.

If Sanchez fails to secure entry to the US, United have a friendly at Bayern Munich on August 5 before their league opener against Leicester City at Old Trafford on August 10.