River Plater are reportedly fed up waiting for Madrid to finalize the transfer of Exequiel Palacios. It was a poorly kept secret leading into the winter market, nearly all reports had Exequiel Palacios signing for Real Madrid after the Copa Libertadores final. Even Palacios agent and the River Plate President came out with statements reiterating as much; a deal was imminent. The 20-year-old was able to showcase his talents in the Bernabeu after the 2nd leg of the Copa Libertadores final was moved to Madrid, but he was far from a standout. Since then, talks of an imminent move slowly started to dissipate.
According to Italian outlet, Sportmediaset, River have warned Madrid that they need to conclude negotiations and settle on a fee for the Argentine this week. Otherwise, River will begin listening to offers from other clubs—namely Inter Milan. The Italian outfit has long been an admirer of Palacios and have reportedly been speaking with the midfielder for months.
In the Madrid squad, the center of midfield is not a position demanding additional talent. Even when looking to the future—the likes of Ceballos, Llorente, and Fede Valverde are currently a notch above Exequiel Palacios. If the Chelsea loanee, Mateo Kovacic, were to return next season, then minutes would become even more difficult to earn for the Argentine. With the winter market less than 24 hours away from closing, it looks as though Madrid’s interest has cooled. A transfer may still be on the cards in the future, but the deal likely will not be wrapped up this January, as was expected.