By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer
It has been described as the least transparent transfer in the history of football. Neymar's sensational move from Santos to Barcelona remains, some seven months later, about as clear as mud.
How much did he cost? Who got what? Where did the money go? Were there additional payments? The official figure released by Barcelona is €57 million, yet Santos say they only received €17.1m, third-party owners are annoyed by feeling short-changed and then there's an unusual first-option payment for three of the Brazilian side's youngsters, plus a couple of friendly fixtures between the two teams thrown in for good measure.
Deals involving South American sides and third-party ownership are always complicated. Nothing new there; even going back to the days of Diego Maradona, such deals took time, intense negotiations and plenty of patience as the money is dished out to all of the parties involved.
The real cost of this transfer, including the three Santos starlets who will probably never end up at the Catalan club (Victor Andrade, Gabriel Barbosa and Giva), plus the two friendly fixtures, means the total transfer fee alone for the Neymar deal could stand at around €69.5m, not €57m.
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