Man Utd alter Chelsea preparations as Mourinho court date looms

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The Red Devils have not confirmed if their manager will attend a hearing in Spain on Friday, but their usual pre-match news conference has been moved

Manchester United have altered their preparations for Sunday's Premier League trip to Chelsea, with manager Jose Mourinho due to appear in court to answer accusations of tax fraud in Madrid on Friday.

Mourinho was summoned at the end of September over allegations he defrauded the Spanish tax authorities of €3.3 million between 2011 and 2012 during his time in charge of Real Madrid.

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When the charges were announced in June, the 54-year-old's representatives issued a statement denying he had been contacted by prosecutors, while insisting he had paid his taxes in full.

United have been unable to offer clarification over whether Mourinho will attend the court hearing, set for 10am local time in Pozuelo de Alarcon, but the club's pre-match media duties have been moved to Thursday lunchtime – a day earlier than usual.

Mourinho suffered a chastening 4-0 defeat on his return to Stamford Bridge last season but United are two places and four points better off than Antonio Conte's defending champions as they head into the weekend in second spot, five points back from leaders Manchester City.

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