Real Madrid have one of the most promising young cores in world football, with the likes of Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni, Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo looking set to dominate European football for a long time to come. Arda Guler has the potential to be on that list as well but needs to prove himself first.
There have been many other youngsters from around the world, who have had their names linked with a potential switch to Real Madrid. One player who was once very close to a move to Santiago Bernabeu is current Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Exequiel Palacios.
It is believed that everything was agreed for the Argentine to join Real Madrid. But a move ended up collapsing.
That must have been a bitter pill to swallow for Palacios, who was in the very early stages of his career at that point. But he has certainly done well for himself since then, even winning the World Cup last year.
Argentine World Cup winner explains why Real Madrid move collapsed
As reported by MARCA, when asked why his move to Real Madrid had gone wrong, Palacios said:
"“The people from Real Madrid traveled to recognize me, but in the end it didn’t happen due to injury. I’m a guy who always wants more, so I think that if it didn’t happen, it was for a reason. I’m on the right track and it’s up to me to go far.”"
Palacios came through the youth ranks at River Plate in Argentina before joining Bayer Leverkusen in January 2020, where he has grown into a mainstay in Xabi Alonso’s side. The 24-year-old midfielder was also a part of the Argentina squad that won the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
He played a small but important role for Lionel Scaloni’s side in the tournament. He was brought on as a substitute on three occasions on the way to Argentina’s World Cup triumph.
Palacios is only 24 years old so he still has a long career ahead of him. Who knows, maybe a move to Real Madrid could be in his future. However, considering how deep the club are in midfield right now, it feels pretty unlikely, to be honest.