Barcelona near deal on Neymar case

Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona said Friday they would decide next week whether to accept a deal with Spanish prosecutors over Neymar’s contested 2013 transfer and avoid going to trial on tax evasion charges.

The star’s transfer from Brazil’s Santos was originally valued at 57.1 million euros ($64.5 million) by Barca, but Spanish judicial authorities estimated it at 83.3 million euros — with the difference allegedly going to Neymar, his family and Santos.

Prosecutors accuse former Barca boss Sandro Rosell, current president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the club of fiscal offences, alleging Barcelona avoided paying taxes on the difference.

According to the daily La Vanguardia, the club has reached a deal with prosecutors and the state attorney representing tax authorities that would see it pay out five million euros and avoid a trial.

If management push ahead with the deal with prosecutors, Rosell and Bartomeu will be absolved, La Vanguardia reported.

In a statement, the club said it held a meeting with its top leaders on Friday, adding that management would decide Monday whether or not to validate the deal with prosecutors.

In a separate case centred on the same transfer, prosecutors have also asked that Neymar, his father, Rosell and the club be tried, but on charges of corruption following a complaint by Brazilian investment group DIS.

DIS held 40 percent of Neymar’s sporting rights when he played at Santos and claims it was cheated of its real share of the transfer to Barcelona.


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