River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios has reiterated his ‘head is 100% here with River’ following months of speculation linking him to Real Madrid.
The highly-rated midfielder was said to be on the verge of signing a five-and-a-half year deal with Los Blancos, with his contract containing a €20m release clause.
Palacios made his debut for River as a 16-year-old and has recently won two international caps for Argentina, attracting interest also from Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
“I am calm, very happy for what I achieved with this club that I am a fan of, I am proud to be here,” Palacios told an interview with Fox Sports, as cited by Diario AS.
“I enjoy every training session, every game that I have to play, and I do it with responsibility, it is fantastic.
“At my young age, there are many things that we are capable of, but (River Plate Coach) Marcelo (Gallardo) is always talking to me, when the Real Madrid thing happened, he helped me, he told me that if I needed to talk to him, he would do it and that I could when I felt I was ready.
“I try not to give that much importance to that topic, even though it's a great club like Real Madrid, both Inter and Madrid are great teams.
“My head is 100 percent here at River, I am fully committed.”
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 51 first-team appearances for River although 24 of those arrived in 2018, including helping his club to the Copa Libertadores title.
A move to the Bernabeu would have represented a continuation of Madrid’s policy of signing young South American players with Brazilian teenagers Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes captured last year.