Neymar to appear before court in fraud case

Neymar has been ordered to appear in court next month as the transfer which took him from Santos to Barcelona remains in the spotlight.

Judge Jose de la Mata has requested his presence on February 2 to face fraud and corruption charges relating to the 2013 move.

Current Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu will also appear in court, albeit one day earlier than Neymar, as will the Catalan club’s former president Sandro Rosell, who stepped down from his role over the transfer.

Proceedings centre on claims from Brazilian investment fund DIS that they should have received a higher portion of the original fee than they did. 

DIS had a 40 percent stake in Neymar’s sporting rights when he was a Santos player and allege they did not receive their fair share of the deal.

A previous court investigation revealed Barca paid €83 million for the 23-year-old – the club had initially announced it as much less – but DIS only received 40 percent of €17 million. 

In an interview with SPORT at the end of last year, Neymar’s father explained the family are “suffering from huge insecurity” because of the off-the-pitch problems.

Neymar is currently in talks with the club over a new deal, but Neymar Sr. says he needs “judicial security” before committing to a new deal. 

Meanwhile, Bartomeu and Rosell could face prison sentences for their role in the transfer, while the club could be hit with a fine of more than €20 million.

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