Barcelona hope Neymar would get a Spanish passport
Barcelona want Neymar to apply for Spanish citizenship to free up a non-EU place.
Current La Liga rules allow a maximum of three players of non-European countries in any Spanish club. Barcelona already have Neymar(Brazil), Luis Suarez(Uruguay) and Marlon Santos(Brazil). That means, they wouldn’t be able to add any other non-EU player to their roster.
In this scenario, Barcelona are trying to make the most out of a loophole in the system. Immigrants from non-EU countries can apply for Spanish citizenship upon 4 years at Spain but for the citizens of former Spanish colonies the duration come down to 2 years. Neymar has been in Spain for four years making him eligible for a dual citizenship.
Barcelona are hoping that Neymar would be able to get clearance over a Spanish passport and hence, they would be allowed to add another non-EU player to their disposal.
Although Brazilian defender Douglas(26) who spent last season on loan at Sporting Gijon is also eligible for the citizenship, Barcelona want to sell him permanently.
Barcelona’s desire to free up a non-EU place may have come from their interest on Brazilian forward Philippe Coutinho who has been heavily linked with a move to the Camp Nou. Another possibility is the Catalan club prefer one more non-EU space for the Colombian centre-back Yerry Mina, currently playing for Palmeiras. Mina has a pre-agreement with Barcelona and may join the club as soon as January, 2018.