Bartomeu to stand trial over Neymar transfer after appeal is rejected

Josep Maria Bartomeu's appeal against allegations of fraud and corruption in relation to Barcelona's signing of Neymar has been rejected.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu will stand trial over allegations of fraud and corruption in relation to Neymar's transfer from Santos after his appeal to the Spanish High Court was rejected.

Bartomeu will now be called upon to give testimony in the case raised by Brazilian investment company DIS following Neymar's move to Barca in 2013.

The court deemed Bartomeu held "management responsibilities" in line with then-president Sandro Rosell, who resigned when the lawsuit was accepted in 2014, despite only being vice-president at the time an alleged deal with Neymar was struck in 2011.

That supposed agreement was deemed to have altered the "free market for player signings, which prevented the player from entering the market in accordance with the rules of free competition".

DIS claims it is due a 40 per cent cut of the fee that Barcelona paid to sign Neymar from Santos – something it says it has not received in full, given the secrecy over the full cost of the transfer.

Barca initially claimed that Neymar cost a total of €57m, but the figure was later revealed to be much greater, with Bartomeu claiming over €100m was ultimately spent.

The club insisted last September they will prove their innocence, along with those named in the case.