River Plate president Rodolfo D'Onofrio has accused Real Madrid of acting ‘dishonestly’ and ‘disrespectfully’ over their pursuit of Exequiel Palacios.
Reports in Argentina and Spain suggest Madrid have lined up a €20m deal for the central midfielder, but the Buenos Aires giants were unaware of such negotiations.
“We did not believe the reports were true but it appears they are,” D'Onofrio told an interview with Marca.
“We have spoken to his representative who has confirmed the truth to us and in all honesty we are very surprised.
“We did not expect a club of the stature of Real Madrid to act in this way, it is disrespectful of our club and the relationship we have.
“Our two clubs have long had strong relations dating back to the days of Alfredo Di Stefano.”
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.
The central midfielder has made just 45 first-team appearances for River although 18 of those have arrived this year.