Cardiff City’s record signing Emiliano Sala was on a light aircraft which went missing over the Channel Islands last night, the French Civil Aviation authority said.
Helicopters from Lee-on-the-Solent as well as Newquay have been looking for the Piper Malibu plane which went missing off Alderney in the Channel Islands last night.
There is a new Sala in town @premierleague 😎 Very happy to sign here @cardiffcityfc !! I know the challenge is big but together we will make it 🙌
Impatient to discover the league & the team #BlueBirds pic.twitter.com/OiNQUpBpiB
— Emiliano Sala (@EmilianoSala1) January 19, 2019
The Bluebirds’ new Argentinian striker Sala was one of two passengers on the plane, which was apparently flying from Nantes to Cardiff.
In a statement, HM Coastguard said: “HM Coastguard is currently assisting Guernsey Coastguard with a search for a light aircraft missing off Alderney in the Channel Islands (in their search and rescue area).
“HM Coastguard helicopters from Solent and Newquay have been helping to search overnight with nothing found.”
The struggling Premier League side announced the signing of Sala, 28, from Nantes in a £15 million deal on Saturday.
Police on Guernsey said the search for the plane resumed at 8am on Tuesday, adding: “At this time no trace of the missing aircraft had been found.”
The search had been called off at 2am “due to strengthening winds, worsening sea conditions and reducing visibility”.
Police said in a statement that the aircraft left Nantes at 1915 for Cardiff and was flying at 5,000 feet.
The statement added: “The aircraft on passing Guernsey requested descent. Jersey ATC (air traffic control) lost contact whilst it was flying at 2,300 feet.”
‘The last goodbye’
French media have reported that Sala was driven to the airport by Nantes defender Nicolas Pallois.
Sala posted a photo to his Instagram and Twitter accounts on Monday afternoon posing with the rest of the Nantes squad. He captioned the photo: “The final [heart emoji] goodbye @FCNantes.”
A recent tweet from Sala’s account was a picture of him and his former team-mates, captioned “La ultima ciao”, or “the last goodbye”.
— Emiliano Sala (@EmilianoSala1) January 21, 2019