SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian club Santos was never told about a 2011 payment from Barcelona to Neymar's father to guarantee the rights to sign the talented youngster, its president said Wednesday.
Odilio Rodrigues said the club authorized the player to negotiate with other teams, but nobody ever informed Santos that a deal with Barcelona was reached at the time.
Rodrigues made the comments a day after Neymar's father, who is also the player's agent, said Santos was aware the Spanish club paid his company 10 million euros ($13.3 million) to have the right to sign Neymar.
Another 30 million euros ($41 million) were paid directly to Neymar father's company after the deal was finalized last year.
Santos was paid about 17 million euros ($23 million) in the transfer, but Rodrigues said the club now will try to determine whether it also deserves part of the money given to Neymar and his father. He didn't dismiss legal action against Barcelona and Neymar.
"I always asked Neymar's father if he had received anything from Barcelona and he always denied it," Rodrigues said during a news conference in the coastal city of Santos. "When I was in contact with (former Barcelona president) Sandro Rosell, he also always denied it."
Rosell last week resigned amid allegations he hid the real cost of the deal in false contracts. Brazilian prosecutors said Wednesday they will also investigate whether there were any tax irregularities on the part of the Neymar family in Brazil.
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