Real Madrid are looking to regroup their squad with a couple of new signings in the winter transfer window and among the frontrunners on their shortlist is River Plate’s highly rated midfielder Exequiel Palacios.

However, River Plate president Rodolfo D’Onofrio has denied the speculation insiting that the player will be staying.

The Argentine media has reported that the Spanish giants are among several European clubs seeking to secure the 20-year-old Argentina international, reports Xinhua news agency.

D’Onofrio said there were no discussions between Real Madrid and River officials over Palacios when the Argentine club was in Spain for the Copa Libertadores final earlier this month.

“With Real Madrid we only spoke on one occasion. Emilio Butragueno (Real Madrid’s director of institutional relations) called Enzo Francescoli (River’s sports director) and told him that they would like to talk to us about the player,” D’Onofrio told Argentina’s Radio La Red on Thursday.

“But when we were in Spain they did not make any contact with us about him.”

Palacios, who has been capped twice for Argentina’s national team, is contracted with River Plate until June 2021. Reports in Argentina have said that River will ask for a transfer fee of 20 million euros for any deal to go ahead.

(IANS Inputs)