Milan Mandaric's takeover of Championship club Leicester has been placed on 'temporary hold' with the news the former Portsmouth owner has returned to Belgrade to tend to his seriously-ill mother.
Mandaric, who made his official bid for the Foxes on November 1, had hoped the takeover would be finalised before the end of the week but that now seems unlikely after his 86-year-old mother was admitted to hospital.
The takeover is believed to be close to completion but has now been put on hold until Mandaric is available again.
Earlier this week Mandaric blasted the 'ridiculous' delays halting his takeover at the Walkers Stadium after revealing they have caused the club to miss out on three transfer targets.
The Serbian-born American expected the takeover to be finalised last week, which was still later than anticipated after the due diligence procedure unearthed considerable extra debts at the club.
Mandaric was equally optimistic about a deal being struck before Saturday's league match against Cardiff but this latest unforeseen setback seems certain to scupper those plans.
A statement issued on behalf of Mandaric said: 'Due to personal and unforeseen circumstances Milan Mandaric's ongoing negotiations with LCFC have had to be put on temporary hold.
'Milan flew to Europe this morning to be with his 86-year-old mother who has been taken seriously ill in hospital.
'Unfortunately her condition remains unstable and Milan would ask and appreciate people to respect his privacy at a time of worrying personal concern. A further statement will follow as and when appropriate.'
A Leicester spokesman added: 'On behalf of everyone connected with Leicester City Football Club, the board of directors, management, players, staff and supporters would like to send their good wishes to Milan Mandaric and his family at this difficult time.'