Neymar could face up to six years in prison as courts re-examine Barcelona move 6 months ago

Neymar could face up to six years in prison as courts re-examine Barcelona move

He was ordered to stand trial last year

Neymar could face up to six years in prison as courts prepare to re-examine his transfer from Santos to FC Barcelona back in 2013.

Last year, the Brazilian winger was ordered by the Spanish court to stand trial for fraud regarding his move to the LaLiga side.

Various transfer fees were reported at the time of the transfer, with a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the transfer's finances.

The transfer has been the subject of investigation since 2014, with Barça president Josep Bartomeu being charged with tax fraud.

Reports from Spain now suggest the national court has decided at the last minute to refer to the Criminal Chamber in front of three magistrates.

The fact that three judges will sit on the case means sentences can be extended past five years as they are deemed as more serious.

Catalan newspaper Lavanguardia report that they have had access to a ruling which reveals that if found guilty, the sentence could be anything from four to six years.

Having made several appeals, Bartomeu's final attempt was rejected last year and he must now stand trial over the transfer alongside his former player Neymar, who now plays for Paris Saint-Germain.

Barça originally claimed that they had only paid €17.1million for the 26-year-old, but a complaint made from a club member prompted a legal case to ensue.

Former Barça president Sandro Rosell was forced to resign after it was revealed that the club agreed to pay Neymar €40m in wages. Bartomeu, who succeeded Rosell, then revealed that Barça had actually paid Santos a fee of €86.2m.

A Brazilian investment company DIS then got involved, claiming that they were owed 40% of the fee and have not received the full amount.

Neymar claims that this is a case for the Brazilian justice system, rather than Spain's.

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".

That hearing also heard that 'the possibility of committing a crime of corruption between individuals is evident'.