Barcelona striker Neymar ordered to stand trial for fraud

Bethany Minelle, News Reporter

Brazilian football star Neymar has been ordered to stand trial in Spain over alleged fraud and corruption.

The 25-year-old striker - whose full name is Neymar da Silva Santos Junior - has been accused of helping to conceal the true transfer fee of his move from Santos to Barcelona in June 2013.

The transfer figure originally published by Barcelona was €57.1m (£48.4m) with €40m euros (£33.9m) of that given to his family.

But Spanish authorities believe the real transfer fee was at least €83m euros (£70.3m).

Neymar's parents, Nadine and Neymar Santos Senior will also stand trial, along with Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, his predecessor Sandro Rosell, and the two clubs involved in the deal.

The case has been raised by Brazilian investment company DIS - who owned 40% of Neymar's sporting rights at the time of his transfer - and who say they have been cheated out of their rightful cut of his fee.

If found guilty, Neymar could face a jail sentence and large fine.

The Brazilian forward has scored 99 goals in 176 appearances since joining Barcelona.

He has also won two La Liga titles since arriving at Barca and was part of the team that claimed the treble in 2014/15.

However, despite Neymar signing a new five-year deal with Barcelona, Florentino Perez - president of the Catalan club's arch rivals Real Madrid - recently said he was considering leaving for the Premier League.

A target for both Real Madrid and Manchester United, Neymar has a £173m buyout clause in his current contract.

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