River Plate President Rodolfo D'Onofrio told Fox Sports (h/t Sport), he is well aware there is interest in his club's young star.
"I will unplug the phones, I will do anything to make sure Palacios doesn't go. He's very young," he said. "No one has called for Palacios. Yes, we know there are various clubs looking at River and Gremio players. "We guess that Palacios could be one of the players but I hope they don't get too excited."
Barcelona sent scouts to watch Palacios in action for River Plate against Gremio in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores semi-final, per Sport.
Soccer writer Peter Galindo offered his view on his performance:
Palacios has also attracted interest from Atletico Madrid, according to Jorge Garcia at AS. He has a release clause of just €15 million, although River Plate want him to sign a new deal with an increased clause.
Renato Corsi, the player's agent, offered an update on his contract situation, per Sport.
"Loads of intermediaries have contacted me but nothing is sealed. We sit down with River Plate because they want to raise his release clause to 30 million euros," he said. "We have had just one chat and not decided anything."
Palacios may only be 20, but he's already an important player for River Plate, as noted by writer Felipe Cardenas:
He's also a full international, having made his Argentina debut against Guatemala in September. EiF Soccer said he's impressed at international level:
One could make the strong argument that there hasn’t been a midfield magician for Argentina since Riquelme. There’s a lot of hope for Exequiel Palacios to pan out well. He showed great signs in his first two appearances with the national team. Keen to follow his development. https://t.co/DqErNTJDon
Real Madrid and Barcelona have both looked to South America to bring in young talent in 2018.
Barcelona signed Yerry Mina from Palmeiras in January and Arthur from Gremio in the summer, while Real Madrid brought in Vinicius Junior in July and have agreed a deal to sign 17-year-old Rodrygo Goes.
River Plate would be wise to agree a new deal quickly with Palacios. Some of Europe's top clubs already appear to be circling and will have no problem meeting his current release clause.