Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu should go to jail for two years for committing fiscal fraud in the signing of Neymar, Spanish state lawyers have recommended.

Legal representatives last month called for a prison term for both Bartomeu and former club chief Sandro Rosell, who resigned in January 2014 due to the controversial transfer.

Bartomeu has long maintained his innocence and claimed Rosell was solely responsible for the deal to sign the forward from Santos in 2013.

But Spanish lawyers have recommended a sentence of two years and three months for the current Barca chief and a jail term of six years and nine months for his predecessor, it emerged on Monday.

The lawyers, acting on behalf of Spain’s tax authorities, have also accused Barcelona of three counts of financial-related crimes between 2011 and  2014 – and have demanded the club pay €11.4 million in compensation.

It is claimed Barca deliberately evaded a €13m tax payment in the transfer, which was initially said to have cost the Catalan club €57m but has since surpassed the €100m mark due to hidden payments and taxes not included in the original figures.

If found guilty, Barca face a fine of €22.2m, Rosell €25.1m and Bartomeu €3.8m.

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