River Plate president Rodolfo D'Onofrio has refuted reports in the Spanish Press that Real Madrid have agreed to sign midfielder Exequiel Palacios.
Marca and Diario AS both reported Los Blancos had triggered the player’s €20m release clause and had agreed a five-and-a-half-year contract which will commence in January.
The Argentine club’s president had previously said Madrid’s pursuit of the Argentine was ‘dishonest’ and ‘disrespectful’ but has confirmed the club are in talks.
“He has not been sold but there is an interest from Real Madrid in Palacios,” D'Onofrio told America TV.
Palacios made his debut for River as a 16-year-old and has recently won two international caps for Argentina, attracting interest from both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have also been linked with the midfielder which is said to have speeded up Madrid’s pursuit of the deal.
The central midfielder has made just 46 first-team appearances for River although 19 of those have arrived this year.
Such a move would represent a continuation of Madrid’s policy of signing young South American players with Brazilian teenagers Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes captured this year.