Tuesday 16 July 2019

Cardiff's record signing Emiliano Sala was on board missing plane

Emiliano Sala agreed to join Cardiff in a club-record deal on Saturday ( Cardiff City )
Emiliano Sala agreed to join Cardiff in a club-record deal on Saturday ( Cardiff City )

Ben Burrows

Cardiff City’s Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala was aboard a small passenger plane that went missing off the coast of the island of Guernsey, France’s civil aviation authority has said.

The 28-year-old Argentinian striker completed a move to the Premier League club over the weekend but had returned to France, where he had been playing for Ligue 1 side Nantes.

Sala was on the light aircraft that disappeared from radar on Monday night while apparently flying from Nantes to Cardiff.

Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman told the Mirror: "We are very concerned by the latest news that a light aircraft lost contact over the Channel last night.

"We are awaiting confirmation before we can say anything further. We are very concerned for the safety of Emiliano Sala."

Sala had signed a three-and-a-half year deal with the Welsh club after scoring 12 Ligue 1 goals in 19 appearances this season.

Guernsey Police posted on Twitter on Tuesday morning that the search had resumed at 8am but that there was still no trace of the plane.

It read: "Searching for the light aircraft PA 46 Malibu resumed at 8am this morning. No trace has currently been found.

"It was en route from Nantes, France to Cardiff, Wales with 2 people. More info when available."

Sala, a native of Santa Fe in Argentina, played at youth level for Club Proyecto Crecer in his home country before being snapped up by French club Bordeaux in 2010.

He was then sent out on a series of loans to Orleans, Niort and Caen and after failing to make more than a handful of appearances for Bordeaux, Sala joined Nantes in 2015.

It was in Brittany that his career began to flourish.

Sala's hat-trick against Toulouse in October 2018 was the first by any Nantes player in Ligue 1 since 2006.

Cardiff signed the forward in a deal reportedly worth in the region of £15million, breaking the previous record of £11million paid for Gary Medel in 2013.

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