Barcelona president to stand trial over alleged tax fraud in Neymar signing

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A judge in Spain will send Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu, his predecessor Sandro Rosell and the club itself to trial over the alleged tax fraud in the signing of Brazil international and former Santos striker Neymar, according to MailSport.

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Bartomeu, Rosell and the club have been accused of defrauding tax authorities out of approximately €13 million (£9.3 million) between the years of 2011 and 2014, by hiding the real cost of the transfer deal.

At the time of the transfer, Rosell had claimed that the player has cost the Catalan giants €57.1 million (£40.8 million), though the club have since admitted that a host of additional contracts and clauses with the player and his father have meant he has ended up costing closer to €100 million (£71.5 million).

Bartomeu, who was vice-president of the club at the time of the deal and managed much of the negotiations in the transfer, said that neither he nor the club had intentionally committed tax fraud at a court appearance last month.

It has been decided by Judge Pablo Ruz, though, that there is enough evidence to bring a trial to court on charges of tax fraud and maladministration.

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique told the press that his side were focusing on playing football, with a historic treble still a possibility at the Nou Camp.

The Catalan giants sit top of La Liga by one point ahead of this weekend’s game against Eibar, are through to the final of the Copa Del Rey against Athletic Bilbao and look well placed to progress in the Champions League, holding a 2-1 lead over Manchester City going into their home leg.

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