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Barca are favourites no more

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Neymar ordered to appear in court over Barcelona transfer from Santos

MADRID -- Spain's national court has ordered Neymar to testify in an investigation into alleged irregularities involving his transfer to Barcelona, with the Brazil captain set to appear on Feb. 2.

The court says former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, current club chief Josep Bartomeu and Neymar's parents, also will have to appear before a judge.

The national court last year rejected Neymar's request to throw out a probe into the irregularities.

The court is looking into a complaint made by a Brazilian investment group which claims it was financially harmed when Barcelona and Neymar, 23, allegedly withheld the real amount of the player's transfer fee from Brazilian club Santos in 2013.

The complaint made in June by investment group DIS names Neymar, his father and Barcelona as defendants, along with Rosell and Bartomeu.

Barca at first said the transfer fee was €57.1 million but later admitted to paying out over €80m in total, with much of that sum going to companies controlled by Neymar Sr.

Another case investigating potential issues with the transfer is currently making its way through a Barcelona court, while judges in Brazil have also looked at the deal. Santos have also previously appealed to FIFA to look into what happened.

All parties have denied any wrongdoing on several occasions.

Neymar made the three-man shortlist for the 2015 Ballon d'Or but lost out to his Barca teammate Lionel Messi, who also finished ahead of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.

ESPN FC's Spain correspondent Dermot Corrigan contributed to this report

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