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Neymar facing fraud charges, Spanish prosecutors call for trial - reports

Barcelona star Neymar is facing new charges of fraud relating to his controversial 2013 transfer from Santos, according to multiple reports in Spain.

The complicated deal which took the Brazil captain to the Camp Nou has been the subject of multiple court investigations in both Brazil and Spain, with the full details of the deal still unclear.

The latest reports relate to a complaint made by Brazilian investment group DIS, which held a 40 percent share of Neymar's rights earlier in his career, and feel they did not receive a fair share ($6.8 million of Santos' $17m fee) of the money paid by Barca to sign the player.

Court sources have told news agency EFE that prosecutor Jose Perals has asked Audiencia Nacional judge Jose de la Mata to call Neymar Junior, his father and ex-Barca president Sandro Rosell to court to answer fraud charges relating to the transfer.

Neymar, his parents, Rosell, current Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu and senior figures from Santos all appeared in a Barcelona court last February to give evidence to Judge de la Mata relating to the same transfer.

That case stalled in March when the judge asked both the investigators and defence teams to begin again and reformulate their submissions, now acting within the legal framework of Barcelona. At the time the Camp Nou club claimed this was a victory for their perspective on the case.

At first, Barca claimed the transfer fee paid when Neymar joined the club was €57.1m, but they later admitted to paying out over €80m in total.

Bartomeu, Rosell -- who resigned in January 2013 -- and Neymar Sr. have all maintained that, while the transfer was unusually complicated, no wrongdoing took place.

The player said back in February that he has been affected by the legal issues that have followed him since his arrival at the Nou Camp.

"I focus just on doing what I have to do," he told O Globo. "My father just wants me to focus on playing and on the ball. When you see the person you love being attacked, suffering, people saying things which are not true... then it hurts you. Before speaking without knowledge, telling lies, you must present proof."

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan


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