River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios and reported Real Madrid target has been ruled out for two months with a knee injury.
Marca say there is concern at Madrid for the player after he fractured his right fibula in Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Racing, with the extent of the damage revealed in later scans.
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.
No deal took place in January although there is still an expectation that the deal could be revived this summer, although an injury concern may set this back.
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.
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 54 first-team appearances for River and helped his club to the Copa Libertadores title earlier this winte.r
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.