Cardiff record signing Sala feared on board missing plane over English Channel

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The disappearance of a light aircraft off Alderney in the Channel Islands has sparked "genuine concern" for those travelling from Nantes

There are “genuine concerns” for the wellbeing of Cardiff City’s record signing Emiliano Sala following the disappearance of a plane he is believed to have been travelling on.

A light aircraft which is understood to have departed Nantes for Wales vanished from the radar off Alderney in the Channel Islands on Monday evening.

Goal sources say two people were on board the plane, Sala and the pilot, but it lost contact with air traffic control near Casquets lighthouse – around eight miles north-west of Guernsey in the English Channel.

AP have also stated that the French civil aviation authority have confirmed Sala was aboard the passenger plane that has gone missing.

Argentine striker Sala completed a £15 million ($19m) move to Cardiff on Saturday having netted 12 Ligue 1 goals already this season and his new club expressed serious concerns on Tuesday morning about his whereabouts.

“We are very concerned by the latest news that a light aircraft lost contact over the Channel last night," the club said in a statement. "We are awaiting confirmation before we can say anything further.

"We are very concerned for the safety of Emiliano Sala."

A coastguard rescue helicopter and the RNLI joined the hunt for the missing plane on Monday, despite the disappearance occurring outside of the UK search and rescue area.

A statement released by Guernsey Police read: “A search and rescue operation is currently underway off the north of Alderney after a light aircraft disappeared from radar several hours ago.

“Two helicopters alongside the Guernsey and Alderney lifeboats are searching for it.”

Emiliano Sala Nantes 2018-19

The initial search was terminated at 2am GMT, with all rescue assets stood down amid strengthening winds and poor visibility.

The search was resumed once conditions improved.

 A further update from Guernsey Police on Tuesday morning 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 two people.”

Having seen a switch to Cardiff confirmed over the weekend, Sala had taken to social media to say his goodbyes to those in Nantes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

‪La ultima ❤️ ciao @FCNantes 👋🏻💛💚‬

A post shared by Emiliano Sala (@emilianosala9) on

Cardiff City's chief executive Ken Choo had said of the deal: "I'm sure all Cardiff City fans will join me in that and we can look forward to seeing our record signing in a Bluebirds shirt."

The French Football Federation has suggested calling off Nantes' Coupe de France game against Sannois Saint-Gratien on Wednesday night due to the incident.

Cardiff are without a game until next Tuesday against Arsenal due having already been eliminated from the FA Cup, with fourth round fixtures taking place in the UK this weekend.

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