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Barcelona FC chief faces legal probe over Neymar signing

Barcelona"s Neymar celebrates his goal against Villarreal during their Spanish first division soccer match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona February 1, 2015 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A cloud of controversy has hung over the Neymar transfer

Spain's public prosecutor has ordered an investigation into the president of Barcelona football club over allegations of tax fraud connected to the signing of Brazilian star Neymar.

Josep Maria Bartomeu is accused of a €2.8m ($3.17m, £2.1m) fraud.

It came amid reports of separate charges relating to the Neymar transfer.

Prosecutors have called for both Barcelona and its former president to face trial.

The charges relate to accusations that former club president Sandro Rosell misappropriated funds during the player's €57m transfer.

Barcelona and Mr Rosell have previously denied any wrongdoing.

In a statement released on Monday, prosecutors asked judge Pablo Ruz to launch an investigation into Mr Bartomeu.

The same judge has been overseeing the investigation into Mr Rosell.

Tax allegations

The club initially said it paid €57m euros for Neymar, 22, with his parents receiving €45m of the fee.

But investigators allege that the fee for Neymar's transfer from Brazilian team Santos was more than was publicly declared at the time.

As a result Barcelona has not paid about €12m in tax, say prosecutors.

In January 2014, Sandro Rosell resigned as the club's president when allegations of financial misappropriation first emerged.

However he has previously described the charges as "unfair and reckless".

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