Real Madrid have agreed a deal to sign River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios and will make the deal official after the Club World Cup.
Following River’s win in the Copa Libertadoes final earlier this week, Palacios could face Madrid in the Club World Cup this month, after which an official announcement will be made on his move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Palacios will arrive in Madrid next summer, not in January, unlike various reports had claimed.
His arrival will be the first signing of new coach Santiago Solari since he replaced Julen Lopetegui earlier this season.
So who is Palacios?
Palacios comes from a town called Famaillá in Argentina with around only 22,924 inhabitants.
However, his parents quickly moved to Buenos Aires in San Martín – where he began his football career at Junta Vecinal José Ingenieros.
Later on, Palacios joined River Plate and made his senior level debut in Argentina’s Primera División in November 2015 at 17 years old.
After 45 minutes against Newell’s Old Boys, Palacios had to wait another five months for more senior level action.
But Palacios’ potential was clear from the start and he is now a valued member of River Plate.
The Argentine has managed four goals and five assists across 38 appearances in all competitions.
Palacios even rejected an offer to join Serie A club Torino last year and earned his first two caps for the Argentina senior team in September 2018.
Interestedly, the youngster idolises Real Madrid midfield duo Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.
Other players he admires are Lucho González along with Andrés Iniesta and Lionel Messi.