The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has cleared Barcelona of committing any fraud when they signed Neymar from Santos.
Neymar joined Barcelona from the Brazilian club back in 2013 in a controversial deal. The Catalan giants had initially reported that the transfer fee was €17 million but it was later revealed that they had paid more than €83 million to complete the move.
Barcelona cleared of any wrongdoing
Santos had appealed to the CAS stating that Barcelona owed them over €61 million in compensation. However, the court has now ruled in the Blaugrana's favour, adding that there had been no illegal behaviour with regards to the transfer.
This ruling will come as a huge relief for Barcelona as they are already mired in financial difficulties. There have also been rumours that the Catalan club's hierarchy might ask its players to accept further wage cuts. The club are even understood to be keen on selling players to buy their transfer targets for the summer.
Neymar spent four excellent seasons at Barcelona, scoring 105 goals and providing 77 assists in 186 appearances for the club in all competitions. He left the Camp Nou outfit to move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 for a world-record fee of €222 million. His spell in France hasn't gone according to plan though as the 28-year old has constantly been linked with a move back to Barcelona.
Meanwhile, Barcelona are said to be interested in bringing the Brazil international back. There have been various rumours on how a possible deal could be structured. Much of it has revolved around a player-swap deal between the two clubs.
Recent reports have even suggested that Barcelona would be willing to send Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele to Paris for Neymar. Philippe Coutinho has been mentioned as a possibility as well. Due to financial restrictions, Barcelona would be unable to pay the fee PSG demand for the Brazilian superstar.
Having said that, Neymar is not the priority signing for the Spanish giants this summer. Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez is the player they want to replace an ageing Luis Suarez. Martinez's release clause of €111 million expired a few days ago but Barcelona are said to be hopeful of striking a deal.
The Catalans have already completed their first signing for the summer in a swap deal. Barcelona swapped their 23-year old midfielder Arthur for Juventus' 30-year old midfielder Miralem Pjanic. Much was made of this deal as Barcelona fans were extremely unhappy.
Other than that, the club are said to looking for suitors for Coutinho and Dembele. Ivan Rakitic has been linked with a move away from the club, while Emerson looks set to leave as well. Barcelona are also believed to be interested in Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Tanguy Ndombele.
A move for Neymar is unlikely to materialise this summer. Barcelona's focus is elsewhere while PSG don't seem interested in letting go of the Brazilian.
Published 08 Jul 2020, 15:39 IST