Bartomeu to go on trial for fraud over Neymar signing as latest appeal rejected

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The former vice-president saw his final appeal against the charges dismissed and, like the Brazil international, will appear in court

Josep Maria Bartomeu will go on trial for fraud and corruption over Barcelona's signing of Neymar from Santos after his latest and final appeal was rejected.

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The signing of the Brazil international in 2013 has long been a complicated subject, with the transfer fee the Catalan club paid for him heavily disputed.

The current case has been brought forward from Brazilian supermarket chain DIS, who owned 40 per cent of the rights to Neymar prior to his sale to Barca in 2013 and claim they are owed more from his sale.

Barca originally claimed they paid €17.1 million for the Brazil international, but a complaint made from a club member prompted a legal case which revealed the club had paid him €40m in wages, leading to an out of court settlement and the resignation of Sandro Rosell. However, his successor, Bartomeu, revealed that Barca had actually paid €86.2m. 

The court revealed in February that Neymar will stand trial for his part in the alleged fraud, and now Bartomeu will be charged for corruption too.

The prosecutor's office says the deal altered "the free market of football players by preventing the player from entering the market in accordance with the rules of free competition".

It was also stated by the hearing that "the possibility of committing a crime of corruption between individuals is evident".

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