Arsenal are plotting a move for River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios after his proposed transfer to Real Madrid collapsed.
The 20-year-old ace is one of South America’s most highly rated youngsters and was included in Argentina’s final 23-man squad for Copa America in Brazil.
He is understood to leave River after almost four years in the club, having made his debut as a 16-year-old, and has been tracked by a host of sides across Europe.
Real Madrid had been the leaders, and nearly signed him for £20 million last summer before he picked up an injury, but the return of Zinedine Zidane as manager saw the manager pull the plug on the deal.
Now Radio Continental reports that Arsenal have emerged as the new leaders to land the midfielder and are considering an offer of their own.
Although Real Madrid agreed a £20 million fee last summer, Palacios is understood to have a release clause of around $23m and would be well within Arsenal’s transfer budget even if they do not win the Europa League.
Exequiel Palacios’ agent, Renato Corsi, also confirmed to Radio Continental that his client ‘is leaving in June’ and has ‘clubs in England and Germany asking about him’.
The South American has gained notoriety back in Argentina for his behaviour off the pitch, though is seen as an excellent talent and helped River win the Copa Libertadores last season.
The midfielder has been capped twice by Argentina but that tally will likely increase after making the 2019 Copa America team, and he perfectly suits the creative midfielder mould Unai Emery wants to replace outgoing Aaron Ramsey.