Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz has been given until January 15 to complete his takeover of Italian club Parma.

“The deadline for paying the balance of the price has been fixed as January 15,” Parma president Guido Angiolini was quoted as saying in La Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday.

“If, by the 16th, the deal with the (Sanz) family has not been closed, we will set about finding a new buyer.”

The club is valued at €27.5m and Sanz made an initial payment of €7.5m last August. However, he has not yet paid the outstanding 20 million.

Parma has been searching for a new owner since their parent company, Italian food group Parmalat, collapsed in December 2003.

Sanz was president of Real Madrid from 1995 to 2000, during which time the team won the Primera Liga in 1997 and the Champions League in 1998 and 2000.

The uncertainty over the club’s future has become a source of increasing frustration for a club struggling to preserve their Serie A status.

Parma currently lie 16th out of 20 teams, two points above the relegation zone.

“This situation is having an effect on our ability to bring in new players,” Parma’s sporting director Oreste Cinquini said.

“We’ve been searching for a new striker, but everything is on hold until we find out what funds are available in 10 days time. Meanwhile, all we can do is wait for further developments.”

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