Barcelona to face tax fraud trial over Neymar transfer

MADRID -- Spain's National Court has accepted the state prosecutor's request to open a trial against Barcelona, club president Josep Bartomeu, and his predecessor Alexandre "Sandro" Rosell for alleged tax evasion linked to the signing of Neymar.

The trial centres around investigators' allegations the club only declared that they paid €57.1 million for the player when they actually paid "at least'' €83.371 million.

Judge Jose de la Mata, who has succeeded Judge Pablo Ruz in leading the probe, ordered the court to begin drafting a proposed indictment against the defendants and ruled there is enough evidence to begin a trial on Wednesday.

A statement from the court read: "Judge Jose de la Mata has issued a decree for the opening trial against the president of FC Barcelona, Jose Maria Bartomeu, his predecessor, Sandro Rosell and the club itself for crimes against the Treasury and corporate crime.''

All three parties have denied any wrongdoing on several occasions and Barcelona have a right to appeal.

Bartomeu took over when Rosell resigned in January 2014 after being named a suspect in the case and investigated for misappropriating funds to hide the full transfer cost.

No trial date has been set, while the three parties accused have 10 days to respond to Spain's National High Court.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.