River Plate have denied reports that they have agreed the sale of Exequiel Palacios to Real Madrid, while admitting talks are ongoing with the Spanish giants.
Palacios, 20, has won rave reviews in Argentina for his performances with River.
The midfielder has been a key part of the team which has battled through to a Copa Libertadores final date with Boca, currently poised at 2-2 after Sunday’s first leg in the Bombonera.
Marca had claimed that Madrid were set to announce the signing of Palacios following the return match on November 24, with the two clubs said to have a agreed a fee worth around €20 million (£17.7m/$22.8m).
But according to River president Rodolfo D’Onofrio, no such deal has yet been agreed.
“He has not been sold, but there is an interest from Real Madrid in Palacios,” D’Onofrio explained to America TV.
“The Real Madrid sporting director spoke to [River Plate sporting director Enzo] Francescoli regarding their interest on the player, and we will speak further along. But he hasn’t been sold.”
Palacios is the latest young star to roll out of the productive River academy, which in recent years has produced stars like Manuel Lanzini, Erik Lamela, Roberto Pereyra and Sebastian Driussi.
He made his debut with the Millonarios in November 2015, aged just 17, and has gone on to make 41 appearances so far, scoring seven goals.
His potential has also been recognised in the Argentine set-up, with interim coach Lionel Scaloni calling him up to the senior side following the Albiceleste’s World Cup failure.
Palacios will not take part in November’s friendly double-header against Mexico, however, as River and Boca’s players have been excused from international duty in order to focus on the blockbuster Copa Superclasico final.