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Real Madrid Transfer News: River Plate Legend Backs Exequiel Palacios Signing

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2018

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - OCTOBER 30: Exequiel Palacios of River Plate celebrates the first goal of his team scored by Rafael Santos Borre (not in frame) during the match against Gremio as part of Copa Conmebol Libertadores 2018 at Arena do Gremio on October 30, 2018, in Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
Lucas Uebel/Getty Images

River Plate legend Beto Alonso has said Real Madrid won't regret signing Exequiel Palacios amid rumours the midfielder is on the verge of joining Los Blancos in 2019.

Alonso spoke to AS' Alex de Llano ahead of River Plate's Copa Libertadores final against Boca Juniors and touched on the transfer that is said to be close:

"He's a lad who's got so many good qualities as a footballer. If Real Madrid sign him, they won't regret it.

"[But] we shouldn't distract him from the task he's got ahead of him right now, which is the final against Boca; he's got to stay focused on that.

"Let's hope he has a really good final and can leave with a Copa Libertadores winners' medal around his neck."

Per de Llano, there are reports a deal for Palacios is already in place, set to take him to Madrid in the summer. Telemadrid (h/t Diario Sport, Football Espana) reported Real will trigger the player's €15 million release clause and sign him to a five-year contract.

The move for Palacios isn't without controversy, as River Plate have accused Los Blancos of going behind their backs to sign the player. President Rodolfo D'Onofrio has taken shots at the European champions, per Juan Castro of Marca.

Palacios was previously linked with Barcelona and Inter Milan, per Sport.

The 20-year-old already has two caps for Argentina and ranks as one of the nation's top talents. He's got exceptional range as an attacking option and is seemingly always looking to either play in a team-mate or go for goal himself:

At just €15 million Palacios would present incredible value, and it's easy to see why River Plate are unhappy with how this saga has played out. They were likely hoping to sign him to a new contract and greatly increase the clause after the Copa Libertadores final, but it would appear Real moved too quickly.

Los Blancos have one of the best midfield units in the world already, but Luka Modric and Toni Kroos have not been at their best this season. The former is 33 years old and could do with more rest during the year, keeping him fresh for the top matches in Europe and La Liga.

Real have depth in Dani Ceballos and Marcos Llorente, among others, but it's never a bad idea to add to your options. For just €15 million there are almost no risks involved with Palacios, who could continue his development at River Plate until next summer before joining Los Blancos.

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