Real Madrid Eye River Plate’s Exequiel Palacios

Real Madrid are planning further negotiations to sign talented River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios, according to president Rodolfo D’Onofrio.

Palacios has been linked with Champions League holders Madrid as well as LaLiga rivals Barcelona following his impressive performances for River.

The 20-year-old, who made his Argentina debut in September, is in Madrid as River prepare for Sunday’s Copa Libertadores final second leg against Boca Juniors as the Santiago Bernabeu.

And River boss D’Onofrio provided an update on Palacios’ future as Madrid circle the club’s sensation, telling Marca: “I wrote to [Madrid president] Florentino Perez a few days ago to thank him for having us at the Bernabeu.

“We are not currently talking about Palacios but about 20 days ago [Madrid director Emilio] Butragueno spoke to Enzo Francescoli about the player, but with a view to continuing negotiations later.”

D’Onofrio added: “The economic differences between Real Madrid and River are very large. It’s very difficult to retain a player, but history tells us that the player sees a future opportunity and we can’t cut his career.

“The club can’t be closed and must open themselves up to negotiation. That a player from River goes to Madrid is also prestigious for River.”

Asked if Palacios is ready to play for Madrid, D’Onofrio said: “He’s at a great level, but I think it would be good to play for one more year in Argentina. However, that is not my decision. We will negotiate, Madrid know that.

“He is very young but he is very serious, and seems older than he is. A very complete player. If they really love him, the move would be ideal for both the player and Real Madrid.”