Real Madrid look set to beat a Fifa transfer ban starting on January 31 and sign talented Uruguayan teenager Rodrigo Bentancur from Argentina's Boca Juniors, local media reported on Wednesday.
Betancur, 18, has been likened to Argentina midfielder Fernando Gago who joined Real as a 20-year-old in 2006.
An elegant playmaker with less than 20 first division appearances to his name, Betancur is reportedly moving for €10.5m, the sixth highest fee ever commanded by Boca.
"He's focusing on the pre-season with Boca and we don't want to jump the gun," Bentancur's father Roberto was quoted as saying in Argentine sports daily Ole.
Neither club has made any official comment on Bentancur.
Real and neighbours Atletico Madrid were banned by Fifa last week from registering players for two transfer windows, though not the current one, for breaching rules on signing non-Spanish Under-18 players.
They have said they will appeal against the suspension which effectively ends in July 2017.
Gago, who returned to Boca in 2013 after nearly seven years in Europe, holds the record for a player sold by the Argentine giants, joining Real for 20 million euros.
Midfielder Ever Banega (Valencia 2008), central defender Walter Samuel (AS Roma 2000), striker Carlos Tevez (Corinthians 2005) and Juan Roman Riquelme (Barcelona 2002) were the other Boca players to fetch 10 million euros or more.