Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: Reuters / Andrew Couldridge

LONDON – Jose Mourinho has come out fighting in a row with the Spanish tax authorities, claiming he paid more than 26 million euros between 2010-2013.

Manchester United have vowed to stand by their manager after he was accused of defrauding the taxman of 3.3m euro (£2.9m).

The United boss, valued at £61m by the Sunday Times Rich List in May, faces allegations of not paying taxes on image rights during his time as Real Madrid coach, with a lawsuit filed against him by the Public Prosecutor’s office in the capital on Tuesday.

But a statement on Tuesday night by his agency Gestifute read: "Jose Mourinho has not received any notification with regards to the news published today. To this date, neither the Spanish tax authorities, nor the public prosecutor have contacted Jose Mourinho or his advisers, who were hired for the inspection process.

"Jose Mourinho, who lived in Spain from June 2010 until May 2013, paid more than 26m euros in taxes, with an average tax rate over 41 per cent, and accepted the regularisation proposals made by the Spanish tax authorities in 2015, regarding 2011 and 2012, and entered into a settlement agreement regarding 2013."

It said the Spanish government, through the taxman, had issued a certificate saying he had complied "with all his tax obligations".

While United declined to comment, it is understood that the club will support their manager throughout any legal process. The lawsuit accuses the Portuguese coach of using a corporate structure to hide image rights earnings between 2011 and 2012. A Madrid judge will decide if the matter goes to court.

Mourinho became a Spanish tax resident in 2010 when he joined Real, but did not declare image rights earnings because he had transferred his image rights to a company based in the British Virgin Islands in 2004.

In July 2014 he was told he was being investigated and a year later he signed an agreement acknowledging unpaid tax on image rights, agreeing to pay a 1.14m euros penalty. But Spanish tax authorities say they discovered — as published by Football Leaks in 2016 — that the image rights company in the British Virgin Islands was part of a chain of companies, including two in Ireland, linked to Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes.

Mourinho is the seventh Mendes client accused of tax evasion in Spain after Ricardo Carvalho, Angel Di Maria, Pepe, Fabio Coentrao, Radamel Falcao and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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