MADRID: Spain’s public prosecutor has called for Barcelona’s Neymar to be jailed for two years for his part in the controversial transfer from Brazilian club Santos to the Spanish champions in 2013.
Judge José Perals also demanded a five-year sentence for the former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and a fine of €8.4m for the club, but urged that charges be dropped against current president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
In July Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi was sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud however, under the Spanish system, prison terms under two years can be suspended and served on probation.
The Neymar case has its origins in a complaint made by the Brazilian investment group DIS, which owned 40pc of Neymar’s transfer rights and which claims it did not receive the amount it was due as Barcelona concealed the true size of the transfer fee.
Barcelona have been mired in legal troubles over Neymar’s transfer since 2013.
Rosell resigned as the club’s president in 2014 for his role in the saga and testified in court in February alongside Bartomeu, Neymar and Neymar’s father.
The club reached a deal with prosecutors in June to settle a separate case and paid a €5.5m fine and avoided trial on charges of tax evasion over the transfer.
Barcelona thought they had they had heard the last of the affair when judge José de la Mata archived the case in June but the public prosecutor appealed successfully in September.