Neymar transfer: Barcelona paid 70% of fee to his parents
Player insists deal that took him from Santos to Spain is above board as courts examine contract
BRAZILIAN superstar striker Neymar has insisted his move to Barcelona was above board despite an investigation by the Spanish authorities and the revelation that more than 70 per cent of the fee for the player went to a company owned by his parents.
A prosecutor in Spain has now asked the courts to examine Neymar's €57.1m (£47m) move from Santos in Brazil last summer for evidence of "simulated contracts".
Talking to Catalan newspaper Sport, Neymar said: "I know that a lot is being said about my contract. I have spoken to [my father] to see what they were talking about exactly. My father was the one who signed the contracts and he is someone in whom I have total trust."
Asked if he thought the transfer may have transgressed any laws, the 21-year-old former Chelsea target replied: "There is nothing illegal. In any case, if anyone has any doubts, they should ask my dad because I'm concentrating on my job, which is playing football."
When Neymar joined Barcelona from Santos last summer, only €17.1m of the €57.1m transfer fee was reportedly paid to the Brazilian club. And now, according to The Guardian, the "figures and the destination of the money have been challenged by a Barcelona member".
The complainant is Jordi Cases who alleges that "the true beneficiaries of the €40m paid to a company owned by Neymar's father are unknown". The public prosecutor, having seen some of the initial documents relating to the transfer, has instructed the courts to probe further the business deal.
The Guardian says Barcelona's published accounts reveal that they paid €57.1m for Neymar: of that sum €17.1m went to Santos and the outstanding amount of €40m to a company called N&N, which is owned by Neymar's father. Of that latter figure, €10m shows up in Barcelona's accounts for 2012 rather than 2013.
Barcelona have reacted testily to the legal investigation, issuing a statement in which they said: "The contractual complexity, referred to as a 'contractual simulation' by the public prosecutor in his report, never constitutes in itself a crime.
"Given the seriousness of the facts... we will act with determination in defence of the honour of Barcelona."