• Spain's public prosecutor asks courts to investigate move
• Barcelona defend £47m signing as 'complex' but 'impeccable'
Neymar has insisted there is "nothing illegal" in the contract that saw him join Barcelona in the summer despite Spain's public prosecutor asking the courts to investigate a possible case of "simulated contracts".
Neymar joined in a deal that Barcelona said cost €57.1m (£47m), €17.1m of which went to his former club Santos, but those figures and the destination of the money have been challenged by a Barcelona member who made a legal complaint. The public prosecutor has requested that the courts consider his case.
Jordi Cases wrote to the courts claiming that the true beneficiaries of the €40m paid to a company owned by Neymar's father are unknown, and the public prosecutor has also expressed doubts about the exact amount received by Santos. Barcelona's president, Sandro Rosell, has been open about the total figures involved but insisted that confidentiality clauses applied to some aspects of the deal.
Cases insists that his complaint is against the club's president rather than the club itself and has reiterated that he is not accusing Rosell of benefiting personally from the deal. As a result of the complaint, Barcelona were obliged to hand all relevant documentation to the court, after which the public prosecutor's report determined that there were sufficient grounds for the case to be taken on.
Now Felipe Izquierdo, the lawyer representing Cases has sent a further letter to the court outlining an additional €10m payment, the justification for which he has described as quiméricos‚ or fanciful.
Barcelona have expressed their "energetic indignation" at the fact that the case is set to proceed, calling the operation "complex" but "impeccable" – an act of "business engineering".
According to Barcelona's published accounts, which they handed to the courts, the club paid €57.1m for Neymar: €17.1m to Santos and €40m to a company called N&N, owned by Neymar's father. Barcelona also paid €7.9m to secure the future rights of three Santos players and €9m for two friendlies between the two clubs.
The €17.1m was paid to Santos to secure Neymar last summer. His contract at Santos was due to run out in 2014.
Barcelona had made a first payment of €10m to N&N in advance, effectively as a deposit to guarantee the completion of a €40m move, with the amount paid defined as an interest-free loan. The €10m appears in Barcelona's accounts in 2012, not in 2013.
The €40m paid to N&N was described as a "penalty clause"‚ applicable in order to complete the transfer this summer. Should Neymar have wanted to break the agreement, he would have been liable to pay that fee to Barcelona. Any club that sought to hijack the deal, as Real Madrid did, would also be confronted with that extra €40m fee.
The public prosecutor's report concluded that there are grounds to suspect that the contract signed between the club and the player may be "simulated"‚ with the details and descriptions of payments failing to accurately reflect what they were.
Here, the definition "penalty clause" comes under scrutiny. The public prosecutor insisted that the cash amount received by Santos remained "unclear". Courts will now ask Fifa for all relevant paperwork and request that Santos hand over documentation relating to the case.
That paperwork, Barcelona have said, will be the same paperwork that they have already presented to the courts. In a statement, Barcelona described it as "incredible" that the public prosecutor had requested the paperwork from Fifa, thus ignoring the fact that Barcelona had already handed it over and made a formal statement as defendants. The club called the attitude of the public prosecutor "reckless".
"The contractual complexity, referred to as a 'contractual simulation' by the public prosecutor in his report, never constitutes in itself a crime," Barcelona's statement said. "We believe that the public prosecutor commits a mistake in his report by understanding otherwise … Given the seriousness of the facts … we will act with determination in defence of the honour of Barcelona and its president."
In an interview with the 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.
"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."