Mourinho says United players not distracted by legal cases

Ander Herrera and Alexis Sanchez have both this week been involved in court cases in Spain

Manchester United striker Alexis Sanchez struck a deal with Spanish authorities to accept a 16-month suspended jail sentence for tax fraud in return for avoiding a trial. Photo: Ian Kington/Getty Images

Manchester United striker Alexis Sanchez struck a deal with Spanish authorities to accept a 16-month suspended jail sentence for tax fraud in return for avoiding a trial. Photo: Ian Kington/Getty Images

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The legal cases in Spain involving Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera have not proved a distraction for either of the Manchester United pair, according to manager Jose Mourinho.

Sanchez was sentenced to 16 months in prison for committing tax fraud earlier this week, but the Chilean avoided jail time as first-time offenders in Spain are not incarcerated if the sentence is less than two years.

Midfielder Herrera, meanwhile, says his conscience is clear after an investigation into match-fixing allegations from Real Zaragoza’s 2-1 win against Levante on May 21, 2011, was reopened by Spain’s anti-corruption prosecutors’ office.

Mourinho, though, played down the effect it could have on the duo, as he said ahead of Sunday’s clash with Newcastle: “No (I’ve not noticed anything with them). No, the squad is good, everything is fine.

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Eric Bailly, Daley Blind, the two players that are out. Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) started training with the team two days ago, so two days with the group and improving. We are fine.”

Mourinho also revealed Luke Shaw is on the verge of signing a new contract, despite seemingly being out of favour for much of the Portuguese’s reign.

Mourinho has publicly criticised the defender on a number of occasions in the past, but he said: “With Luke it is not about changing my mind. With Luke, it’s just the evolution or no evolution of his potential.

“Like I think you say, fulfil the potential. It’s just about that.

“Because I know Shaw since he arrived in the Premier League with Southampton and I know his potential and his quality.

“Could he come in my direction, in the way I think football, the way I like my players to be not just on the pitch but also during the training week? And he made a big effort.

“He’s now for a few months free of these minor injuries that sometimes stop evolution and I’m really happy, so I think the natural consequence of it is that he will have his contract and he will be a Manchester United player for years.”

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