Former President of FC Barcelona Josep Bartomeu has been arrested over corruption charges in connection with his dealings in the club, radio Cadena SER reported on Monday.
"We are in the process of carrying out an operation right now with agents of the financial crimes unit," AFP cited the police as saying.
Earlier on Monday, police carried out searches in FC Barcelona’s office. The investigators suspect Bartomeu was conducting deals on behalf of the club to grind his own axe and make profits. Bartomeu was earlier accused of hiring the social media company I3 Ventures to attack and criticise current players and protect the reputation of the club’s managing board. He has denied any wrongdoing.
Bartomeu has been criticised for Barca's worsening finances and poor performance last season. He was also blasted by Messi, who sought a transfer in July but failed to receive it. The Argentine forward then accused Bartomeu of lying to him, adding that "there has been no project or anything for a long time" in the club.