REAL MADRID

Real Madrid given green light on River Plate's Exequiel Palacios

The surprising loss for River against Al Ain in the Club World Cup has accelerated the operation to bring the talented midfielder to Madrid.

Tuesday evening didn't just see Al Ain cause an upset in the Club World Cup semi-final by eliminating River Plate, but they also accelerated the operation by Real Madrid to sign Exequiel Palacios.

Operation Palacios moves closer

On Monday, the day before the match in Abu Dhabi, Enzo Francescoli, sports director of the Argentine club, told AFP that they would not talk about any transfer until after the Club World Cup. Well, despite the fact that River Plate still have to play the third-place play-off, the defeat effectively gave the green light for Madrid to complete the signing of the 20-year-old.

The operation to bring Palacios to the Spanish capital has been running for several weeks. President of Los Millonarios, Rodolfo D'Onofrio, already confirmed more than a month ago that Madrid had been in contact about the transfer.

"Butragueno spoke to Enzo Francescoli about the player, but with a view to continuing negotiations later," he said, before adding, "We want to keep him here as long as possible."

Joy runneth over | Copa Libertadores Final - Second Leg - River Plate v Boca Juniors - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - December 9, 2018 River Plate's Exequiel Palacios celebrates their first goal.

20 million for 20 year old

With some of Europe's other big teams showing an interest in the player, Madrid intend to close the deal as soon as possible, although it is expected that the player would not join until June. This timeline is also the wish of Palacios himself, who wants to continue at River for the coming months building experience.

In the next few days, River and Madrid will develop the conversation to finalise the details. Before everything that went on with the final of the Copa Libertadores, the plan was for Palacios to sign for five seasons for a transfer fee of 20 million euros, five more than stipulated in his release clause.

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