Real Madrid agree £20m deal to sign River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios
Real Madrid have agreed a €23 million (£20.4m) deal with River Plate to sign Exequiel Palacios, according to reports in Argentina. The 20-year-old is one of South America’s highly rated young players and has attracted widespread interest from several European clubs, including Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Inter.
But TYC Sports report that Madrid have won the race to sign Palacios and he will officially sign for the Champions League holders in January but will remain at River Plate on loan until the end of the La Liga season.
Palacios made his senior debut for River three years ago and has established himself as a first-team regular this season. The central midfielder has also been capped twice by Argentina since their poor World Cup campaign in the summer.
Speaking last week about the widespread interest in Palacios following his impressive performances in Argentina, River Plate president Rodolfo D’Onofrio said: ‘I will unplug the phones, I will do anything to make sure Palacios doesn’t go.
‘He’s very young. No one has called for Palacios. Yes, we know there are various clubs looking at River and Gremio players [in the Copa Libertadores semi-final]. ‘We guess that Palacios could be one of the players but I hope they don’t get too excited.’