Barcelona may have paid as much as 38 million euros ($51.5 million) more for Neymar than the 57 million euros ($77.3 million) that was his stated transfer fee from Brazilian club Santos, El Mundo reported on Monday. The Madrid-based paper claims to have seen leaked court documents detailing three different payments of millions of euros to Neymar’s family between 2011 and 2013, including direct payments made to the Brazil international’s father, Neymar Sr., "to scout young talent at Santos" and "to help children in the favelas of Sao Paulo."
The report details the full breakdown of the 95 million euros as follows: 40 million euros ($54.2 million) to the Neymar family, 17 million ($23 million) to Santos, 7.9 million ($10.7 million) for rights to three further young Santos players, nine million euros ($12.2 million) for two friendly games between the clubs, 8.5 million euros ($11.5 million) in commission to Neymar Sr., 2.6 million euros ($3.5 million) in other agents' fees and a signing-on bonus of 10 million euros ($13.5 million).
If indeed Barca did pay 38 million euros ($51.5 million) more for Neymar than it previously stated, the 22-year-old would then be the world’s most expensive player ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, who cost 94 million euros ($127.4 million) from Manchester United in 2009, and Gareth Bale, who Real said it paid 91 million euros ($123.3 million) for, despite the general consensus being that the fee was a record 100 million euros $135.5 million).
Meanwhile, Barcelona sources have insisted that the El Mundo story is false.