So often when either Real Madrid or Barcelona are interested in a South American player then the other club are keen too.

It’s been that way for some years and whilst the twin aims of Spain’s big two are probably exaggerated to some degree, there’s clearly been truth in some chases such as Neymar and other Brazilians.

Today Sport goes with a headline saying: ‘Real Madrid steals Exequiel Palacios from Barca’

The claims, which originally come from TeleMadrid, make the deal sound almost done and that Palacios will soon be committed to joining Real Madrid.

Sport say the player’s agent first came close to an agreement before Madrid started talks with River Plate. They are ‘about to close the signing’ of the player, who it’s insisted Barcelona were also keen on.

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The 20 year old Argentine central midfielder is expected to sign a five year contract and will cost €20m, although he won’t arrive until summer 2019.

His River Plate side are set to face Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores final, with the first leg at Boca this weekend.