‘Possible criminal acts’ in Neymar case

The Audiencia Nacional has described aspects of Neymar’s transfer from Santos to Barcelona as possibly having ‘criminal acts.’

Neymar’s 2013 move to Camp Nou has been the subject of a great deal of legal wrangling and has already claimed the resignation of Sandro Rosell as Barca President.

Both Rosell and his successor Josep Maria Bartomeu could face jail time if they are found to be guilty of tax fraud, AS notes, in a separate case.

It’s alleged that Barca and Santos colluded to sell Neymar below market value – with Marca reporting Real Madrid offered €40m for a player who it’s claimed was transferred for €17m – and reported a lower sum than the reality.

Marca notes that the court asked other clubs interested in signing Neymar for information on the fee they offered, with Los Blancos the only ones to respond.

Manchester United and Chelsea didn’t reply at all while Bayern Munich provided nothing in writing to the court.

Barca and Santos are alleged to have agreed other ways of funnelling money between each other related to the transfer, such as the arranging of a friendly, later cancelled, that was valued at €4.5m, and the future signings of three players from Santos.

Neymar, his father, two Santos directors and Bartomeu and Rosell will have to appear in court in Madrid as part of the trial, Marca add, after their appeals were rejected.

The lawsuit was brought by Brazilian group DIS, who owned 40% of Neymar’s Santos contract, and believe they were entitled to more money than they received when he moved to Spain.

DIS received a cut based on the information Neymar cost €17m, and they allege the true value was much higher and, as such, they were short-changed.

The court also stressed the DIS case is separate from another case involving the transfer, which relate to issues involving the tax paid on the deal.

Judge De La Mata put the estimated real cost of the Neymar transfer at €83.3m, compared to the €57.1m Rosell had claimed, and the €94.8m the district attorney had previously reported.

El Pais quotes the judge as finding that if Barca and Santos reached an agreement for a larger transfer fee using such mechanisms as the friendly and the three players to be transferred without the knowledge of DIS, it could constitute a crime.

Tags Josep Maria Bartomeu Neymar Sandro Rosell