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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera named in match-fixing allegations

Swansea’s Jefferson Montero has also been identified in a criminal complaint filed today.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers - Old Trafford The Spaniard moved to Old Trafford during the summer having played for Real Zaragoza and Athletic Bilbao Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

MANCHESTER UNITED MIDFIELDER Ander Herrera has become embroiled in a match-fixing allegation after he was one of 41 names identified in a case filed by Spain’s anti-corruption prosecutor today.

The 25-year-old, who cost the Red Devils £28 million in the summer, has been officially implicated in the case which relates to a match-fixing allegation during a La Liga match between Real Zaragoza and Levante on the final day of the 2010/11 season.

Herrera was playing for Zaragoza, who won the match 2-1. The club from north-east Spain needed to win the final fixture to avoid relegation.

In the court filing published today, the prosecutor alleges the Levante players were paid €965,000 in cash to lose the game.

Bank documents show the transfer of funds from Zaragoza to its players and officials – including Herrera – before they then withdrew the money to pass it onto the Levante players in cash, the prosecutor Alejandro Luzón alleges.

The case first emerged last February when investigators claimed they had uncovered significant evidence to suggest hundreds of club games had been fixed in a betting scandal run in Singapore.

Japan coach Javuer Aguirre and Atletico Madrid captain Gabi have both also been identified. Aguirre was the then Zaragoza manager while Gabi was part of the playing staff at the time.

The club released a statement in September insisted it was ‘completely unaware’ of the investigation and denied any knowledge of wrongdoing because a different board of directors was in place at the time.

Jefferson Montero, currently at Swansea City, was on-loan at Levante and was involved in the fixture in question.

The judge overseeing the case will decided whether to proceed with prosecution. If found guilty, Herrera and the other players and officials named in the file face the possibility of a ban from football or a jail sentence, depending on their involvement.

Herrera was signed by Louis van Gaal from Athletic Bilbao and has made nine Premier League appearances this term.

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Ryan Bailey

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