Real Madrid are finding it hard to negotiate the sale of the five or six players they need to offload to raise cash to fund more purchases, director general Jorge Valdano said on Thursday.

The Primera Liga club, who have spent more than 200 million euros on four players, are still looking for a central midfielder and a defender but Valdano said they have been hampered by a tough market.

“We are constantly working on the sale of players and the door to more signings will remain closed until players leave,” the Argentine told a news conference announcing a new sponsorship deal for the club’s basketball team.

“We are in a difficult market and we will work until the very last minute to offload the players that are not in the coach’s plans,” he added.

Real’s attempt to sell Dutch striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar to Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart for a reported fee of around 18 million euros collapsed on Thursday.

They are also looking to sell Huntelaar’s compatriots Ruud van Nistelrooy and Royston Drenthe and Mali midfielder Mahamadou Diarra, among others.

“In some cases they (the players) are resisting and in others there are no offers,” Real sporting director Miguel Pardeza was quoted as saying on Thursday.

“The sale operation may seem simple but it’s not. It’s not easy convincing them to leave Real Madrid for what is generally a lesser team,” he told Spanish daily Publico

BBC Sport