Real Madrid have reportedly completed the signing of young River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios, who will be officially unveiled as a Real player once the Club World Cup comes to an end later this month.
Real have been tracking Palacios for some time, with reports previously claiming it is a case of when not if the 20-year-old moves to the Spanish capital, as part of Florentino Perez's effort to bring in the next generation of stars. That project also includes a potential deal for Manchester City's Brahim Diaz.
News of Real's imminent signing comes from Spanish outlet Marca, who claim that a transfer has already been agreed between Real and River Plate, with the two clubs now negotiating whether Palacios will be allowed to move to Madrid in January or at the end of the season.
Real are keen for the Argentinian to join the club as soon as possible, whilst River are determined to keep Palacios for the remainder of the season.
The 20-year-old is a versatile midfielder who is comfortable as both a central midfielder and a winger. Palacios has made eight appearances for River this season, racking up one goal and two assists.
He started in the second leg of River's controversial Copa Libertadores final victory and was heavily involved in the build-up play for River's opening goal. As a result of their 5-3 aggregate victory over rivals Boca Juniors, River are set to join Real at the Club World Cup.
However, Boca intend to appeal against the outcome of the second leg, which was played in Madrid following violent clashes between fans ahead of the initial match.
Should the result stand, River would earn a place in the semi-final of the Club World Cup, whilst Real would also feature in the second semi-final. Both sides will be overwhelming favourites in their respective matches, meaning the two teams could face off in the final of the tournament on 22 December.