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 By PA Sport

Romelu Lukaku to pay Los Angeles police $450 fine, avoids jail time

Craig Burley says the matches preceding the Manchester Derby are key for Man United if they want to challenge City for the title.

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku will avoid the prospect of jail time by compensating police in Los Angeles for their repeated callouts over loud parties in the summer.

Police said they issued a citation to the 24-year-old after responding to five noise complaints in as many days at a Beverly Hills residence where he was staying.

The parties were held while Lukaku was on the verge of a £75 million transfer to United from Everton.

The Belgium international will pay $450 (£340) to reimburse the force as part of a deal that will see the charge reduced from a misdemeanour which could have carried six months in jail, a Los Angeles court was told on Tuesday.

Commissioner Jane Godfrey, overseeing the case, said: "They are reaching a disposition in this case that the first thing that must happen is the defendant must pay Beverly Hills Police Department $450 for multiple response calls.''

The city will then reduce the charge to a disturbance of the peace infraction, which carries a $100 (£76) fine plus other costs and penalties, she said.

Romelu Lukaku joined Manchester United shortly after the events in Los Angeles.

As a misdemeanour, the charge would have carried the maximum sentence of six months in a county jail or a $1,000 (£760) fine, the commissioner added.

James Eckart, for the city, and Lukaku's lawyer, Robert Humphreys, accepted the arrangement.

The striker's signing was completed by United around eight days after his citation by the force, which happened at around 8 p.m. on July 2.

Days after the incident, he shared on Instagram a picture of himself in an apartment in the city with United midfielder Paul Pogba.

The case will return to Los Angeles Airport Courthouse on Dec. 18 when Lukaku's lawyer is expected to pay the $550 (£416) in fines and compensation, a $40 (£30) fee as well as other undecided penalties.

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