Inter Miami CF is in talks to acquire River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios, multiple sources have told ESPN, but one source with knowledge of the deal cautioned that there is "a long way" to go to get a deal done.
Miami's interest in Palacios was first reported by Argentine outlet TyC Sports.
If a deal is completed, Palacios would join the MLS expansion side -- which counts David Beckham as one of its principal owners -- in January, allowing him to play for River through the end of the Copa Libertadores. Los Millionarios will play bitter Buenos Aires rivals Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores semifinals -- a rematch of last season's final that saw the second leg moved to Madrid due to fan violence after the first leg.
A report from ESPN Argentina reporter Javier Gil Navarro said that River are focused on their Copa run and are not interested in selling the player right now.
Palacios, 20, has risen through River Plate's youth ranks, and made his league debut as a 17-year-old in 2015 against Newell's Old Boys. He had made 70 league and cup appearances with River Plate, scoring eight goals. After playing for Argentina's U17 and U20 sides, Palacios has appeared twice for Argentina's senior team.
Argentina youngsters Matias Pellegrini and Julian Carranza became Miami's first first signings in July. Pellegrini (at Estudiantes) and Carranza (at Banfield), both 19, will remain at their respective clubs in Argentina until Miami begins play. The club also signed Venezuela youth international Christian Makoun in August and acquired Canadian midfielder David Norman Jr. from the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Miami will play at a temporary venue in Fort Lauderdale for two seasons as a 25,000-seat stadium is built on what is currently the home of Melreese Country Club, Miami's only city-owned golf course. The Melreese project -- dubbed Miami Freedom Park -- made headlines in August after a recent environmental study found high levels of toxic materials at the proposed site.