Real Madrid will complete a deal for River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios after the Copa Libertadores final later this month, according to reports.
The 20-year-old has featured heavily for the Argentine giants throughout the season and is one of the most exciting midfield talents in the country’s Primera División.
Spanish outlet Telemadrid (via Marca) claim that the reigning European champions will pay €20m for Palacios’ signature, €5m more than the midfielder’s current release clause.
The youngster will sign a five-year contract at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Real Madrid have already been in contact with Palacios, but they bypassed seeking permission from River Plate, something which club president Rodolfo D’Onofrio has recently been outspoken about.
Although Los Blancos want to complete the move as soon as possible, they know that their chances of agreeing on a deal ahead of the final in the Copa Libertadores – the South American equivalent of the Champions League – are slim at best.
This is because, for the first time in the competition’s history, River Plate will be taking on their bitter rivals Boca Juniors in the final, which is set to be the last one ever to be played over two legs.
The first leg of the Superclásico takes place at Boca’s home stadium La Bombonera on Saturday, while the conclusion of the Copa Libertadores is pencilled in for 24 November at River’s El Monumental.
The excitement and importance of the final is so great that fans on social media have even speculated that Zenit Saint Petersburg midfielder Leandro Paredes – formerly of Boca Juniors – purposely received a red card during a recent league match just so that he could travel to the Superclásico this weekend.