Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera is one of two Premier League players facing a possible jail sentence if he is found guilty of match fixing after an investigation by Spanish anti-corruption authorities.
Swansea City midfielder Jefferson Montero and Atletico Madrid's Gabi are also named in the complaint, in which 41 players, managers and directors have been named by prosecutors in Valencia.
The charges related back to Herrera's time with Real Zaragoza and their final-day 2-1 win against Levante which helped them avoid the drop in the 2010/11 season.
Afterwards it was alleged that payments which totalled close to €1 million had been made to some player's accounts and an investigation was launched. Now Spanish prosecutor Alejandro Luzón has presented his findings to court after interviewing more than 25 people, including players. The prosecutor has issued an official complaint and asked the judiciary to investigate the match.
If those accused, including Herrera, are found guilty then they could face anything from a one year ban to jail time. Worryingly for Manchester United, Herrera is named specifically in the findings as having received a portion of the payments with the intention of passing them onto Levante players - and the spotlight is likely to be on him in lead-up to any judgement.
Prosecutor Luzón said in a statement: “The president of Zaragoza, Agapito Iglesias, as well as the director Francisco Javier and Francisco José Checa agreed with sporting director, Antonio Prieto, coach Javier Aguirre and and the captains Gabi, Ponzio and Jorge López, representing and with the consent of the other players, to rig the game”
“To this end it was established that 965,000 euros was paid to players of Levante in exchange for them allowing Zaragoza to win the game”.
He continued: "In executing this agreement, on 17 and 19 May 2011 the adviser of Zaragoza and financial director of the club, Francisco Javier Porquera, ordered the transfer from the account of Zaragoza the amounts of money to the accounts of Antonio Prieto, Javier Aguirre and these players: Lanzaro, Ander Herrera, Toni Doblas, Paulo da Silva, Braulio, Ponzio, Gabi, Jorge Lopez and Diogo".
The midfielder joined Manchester United from Atheltic Bilabo as part of a £28 million transfer over the summer, and has so far played nine Premier League games, scoring twice in the process. Manchester United are yet to comment on the case.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms