LONDON • Manchester United's preparations for Sunday's showdown with Chelsea have been interrupted because of Jose Mourinho's tax fraud case, which will be heard in Madrid tomorrow.
The court is expecting Mourinho to attend the hearing in the Pozuelo de Alarcon region of the Spanish capital, which is due to start at 10am, just over 48 hours before United take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho is accused of defrauding Spain's tax office of €3.3 million (S$5.22 million). The money in question does not involve the his salary from when the Portuguese coached Real Madrid between 2010 and 2013, but rather revenues from image rights.
He insists he has fully complied with all Spain's tax laws and denies any wrongdoing.
The United manager has brought his pre-match press conference forward to today and it is understood his players have been told their training schedule may be altered if Mourinho is unable to lead the session at Carrington.
United have lost just one game so far this season, but they could slip eight points behind the leaders Manchester City if Mourinho's team lose and Pep Guardiola's side triumph over Arsenal at the Etihad earlier on Sunday.
Last season, Chelsea hammered United 4-0 on Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge - the worst Premier League defeat of his career. The champions - four behind United - are also desperate to win, with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois claiming the hosts must win to have any chance of retaining the title.
"This is a must-win game," he said. "We must win games like these to remain at the top and close to the other ones. We will try to get three points and will give our lives for it."
THE TIMES, LONDON