Reigning European champions Real Madrid will announce the signing of River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios before the end of next week, despite noises out of Argentina saying no deal has been agreed.
The 20-year-old is currently tied up with his club in the Copa Libertadores final against bitter rivals Boca Juniors - a two-legged game which many consider to be one of the biggest games in the country's football history.
The first leg between the two rivals finished in a 2-2 draw at Boca's home stadium La Bombonera, and although players of both sides should be off limits until after the return fixture, media outlet AS claim Real Madrid will announce a deal for Palacios 'by the end of next week'.
What's made all the more surprising by the supposed deal is that River Plate's president Rodolfo D'Onofrio has maintained an agreement hasn't been reached that would see their star midfielder move to the Santiago Bernabéu.
I’ve said it before. Palacios is exactly the sort player Real Madrid need. Their midfield is soft and ageing. Kronos is a wonderful player but has no bite. Same for Modric. Casemiro has never hit the heights. Palacios combines elements of all three. Hala Madrid!! pic.twitter.com/aoFebJHHCs— FI_Genesis 🐝🚀⚽️🚀🐝 (@FiGenesis) November 14, 2018
It is claimed that Los Blancos remain in talks with River's sporting director Enzo Francescoli, and the Spanish side are confident about talks that are taking place.
Palacios still has a contract at El Monumental until 2021, but he is among a number of players involved in the Superclásico who are being linked with big money moves to Europe's biggest and best clubs.
In the blue and yellow half of Buenos Aires, first team stars like Cristian Pavón and Nahitan Nández - both of whom featured at the World Cup - have also been tipped to leave South America.
Most notably, the former has been heavily linked with a move to Premier League side Arsenal.