BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona paid 13.55 million euros ($18.6 million) to Spanish tax authorities on Monday to cover any potential irregularities in its signing of Neymar, all the while maintaining its innocence of the fraud charges levied against it.
The Spanish champion said in a statement it paid the "complimentary" amount to cover any "eventual interpretations that could come out of the contracts signed relating to the transfer of Neymar. Meanwhile we are convinced of the legality of our initial fulfilment relating to our tax obligations."
Barcelona's actions take the price of Neymar's transfer to more than 100 million euros ($138 million) after the Catalan club initially said it paid 57.1 million euros ($74 million) for the Brazil forward.
That sum does not include bonus payments made by Barcelona or the 22-year-old's salary, meaning his total cost likely exceeds the record-breaking 100 million euros-plus spent by rival Real Madrid on Gareth Bale last summer.
Spanish tax authorities charged Barcelona with fraud on Thursday, alleging it swindled the state of 9.1 million euros ($12.5 million) through payments to varying companies and false contracts.
Of the initial transfer fee, Brazilian club Santos received 17.1 million euros ($23 million) while Neymar's father, who also goes by Neymar, earned 40 million euros ($55 million).
The tax authorities considered the amount paid to Neymar's father as a salary, the club explained.
Barcelona said it "scrupulously" met its financial obligations in signing the player from Brazilian club Santos and it would continue to work with the state authority in the matter.
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