BUENOS AIRES, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) — Departing River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios bid farewell to the Buenos Aires club’s fans on Saturday as he embarked on a new chapter in his career with Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen.
“I thank the fans for the love they have given to me and I hope to one day come back home,” the Argentina international said in an emotional interview broadcast on local television.
According to local media reports, River Plate will receive 24 million US dollars for the transaction and 10 percent of any future transfer fee.
Both River and Bayer Leverkusen had yet to confirm details of the move on Saturday evening.
The 21-year-old’s comments came less than a day after River Plate secured their third Copa Argentina title with a 3-0 victory over Central Cordoba in the final.
“It was a very important game and I wanted to go out on a high,” said Palacios, who has been capped four times for Argentina’s national team.
“Luckily I was able to do that. River has been my home since I was seven. I grew up here. I’m getting a little emotional because I’m going to miss this place,” he added while fighting back tears.
Palacios is not expected to make his debut for Leverkusen until the Bundesliga resumes from its winter break in mid-January.