There is "genuine concern" Premier League footballer Emiliano Sala was on a flight which disappeared between France and Cardiff.

It is feared the Argentine striker was one of two people on board the Piper Malibu, which disappeared off Alderney on Monday night.

Cardiff City, which signed the 28-year-old from French club Nantes on Saturday , said it was "seeking clarification" as to what happened.

A search is under way.

Cardiff Airport confirmed the aircraft was due to arrive from Nantes but a spokeswoman said there were no further details.

HM Coastguard said the disappearance was not in the UK search and rescue area, but it had sent two helicopters to help.

A spokeswoman said they were assisting Guernsey Coastguard with a search for a light aircraft off Alderney: "HM Coastguard helicopters from Solent and Newquay have been helping to search overnight with nothing found."

The search and rescue operation had to deal with worsening conditions as they scoured the area on Monday night.

The Met Office said at the time the aircraft went missing "there were some showers around, but nothing too intense".

"Wind speeds were not too bad - average speeds were around 15 to 20mph," it added.

As the search continued into the evening though, it became wetter and windier.

Image caption The Casquets are infamous among mariners as the site of many shipwrecks

The flight disappeared off radar near the Casquets lighthouse, infamous among mariners as the site of many shipwrecks, 13km north-west of Alderney in 1724.

HM Coastguard said the helicopter from Newquay had now returned to base to refuel and rest the crew.

Doesn't look good.

Jesus Christ. I was fuming about my Amazon delivery going missing the other day, and I'd only spent £25 on it.

I am going to Arsenal v Cardiff next Tuesday as taking Cardiff fans through work. They were looking forward to seeing this new signing in action as it would have been his first game!

Would have thought he would have been on a private jet or something a bit more modern than a propeller plane.

Hope there are survivors but obviously unlikely.

Fuck small planes and helicopters 

Yep hate flying as it is but used to shit even more going to Isle of Man on those small propellor planes. City Wing it was...

Apparently Sala was worried about the plane before take off.

‘I’m here on a plane that looks like it’s about to fall apart, and I’m going to Cardiff, crazy, tomorrow we already start, and in the afternoon we start training, boys, in my  new team.’

He later sent another message saying: ‘How are you guys, all good? If you do not have any more news from in an hour and a half, I don’t know if they need to send someone to find me... I am getting scared!’

Unconfirmed reports that is also took 3 or 4 attempts to take off!

Once he was on board for the fateful return flight, Sala texted friends to say the plane was making ‘weird noises’.

Unconfirmed reports say the plane had difficulty taking off and took ‘three or four’ attempts before flying at 7.15pm.

On a day when a player probably died in a plane crash, Ronaldo escapes jail and post a grinning pic on his private jet. 


This is all over Twitter, but did he even know?
seasider wrote:

Yep hate flying as it is but used to shit even more going to Isle of Man on those small propellor planes. City Wing it was...

‍At least Citywing planes have two propellers. The plane Sala was reportedly on was a single engine Piper Malibu

Why wouldn't he just go on a commercial flight or private jet.

Fuck that, looks like a toy.

Looks more modern than I thought but that could be down to the pixelated mess!
It may not be the same one, the one he travelled on was 35 years old.

Been called off. Shame.

Looks like we will never know what happened.

I would be annoyed as a family member calling off a search after only three days. Obviously the search area is too big. 

I wonder if Debris will wash up somewhere.

Who loses out on this deal now?
Probably neither club if the player was insured. 

The Sun is already news story that implies the lad and the pilot were at fault.

I suppose it may be true, but for God's sake let the families mourn before you start twisting the knife.

TorontoSeasider wrote:

The Sun is already news story that implies the lad and the pilot were at fault.

I suppose it may be true, but for God's sake let the families mourn before you start twisting the knife.

‍How the hell can both the pilot and passenger be at fault? A single engined/propellered plane, 35 years old, that, from Emilliano's comments, was obviously not up to the job? Stop reading crap redtop 'news'papers bollocks. 

Can't wait until Leicester play Cardiff in the Aviation derby..... El Crashico

Text messages organising the plane

Friday, 18 January

7:43pm - Jack McKay:"My dad has told me that you are going home tomorrow. He could organise a plane to take you direct to Nantes and to come back on Monday, at a time that suits you, so you can get to training on Tuesday."

7:51pm-Emiliano Sala: "Ah that is great. I was just in the middle of checking if there are some flights to get to Nantes tomorrow."

7:56pm-McKay: "He said he could organise a plane that would go direct to Nantes."

7:56pm- Sala: "How much will it cost?"

7:56pm-McKay: "Nothing. He said if you help me to score goals it's nothing."

7:59pm-Sala: "Hahaha with pleasure."

8:00pm- Sala: "We are going to score lots of goals."

8:01pm - Sala: "I want to leave tomorrow for Nantes at around 11am and come back on Monday night around 9pm to Cardiff if that is possible."

8:05pm -McKay:"Good. I'll send a message when that's sorted."

Sunday, 20 January

5:00pm - McKay: "Hi there is it possible you could come back at seven in the evening on Monday night? Just because the pilot has to get home in the north after he gets to Cardiff."

5:01pm - Sala:"Hi, Half past seven would be possible."

5:03pm - McKay:"Yes that's good."

5:05pm -Sala: "[PICTURE OF LUGGAGE] Can you ask if I can bring this on the plane?"

5:06pm -McKay: "Good yeah."

5:07pm - Sala:"But is that going to be OK for the plane?"

McKay: "Yes there is space on the plane for your luggage."

5:12pm - Sala: "OK."

Monday, 21 January

4:16pm - McKay: "I'm going to call in a moment."

4.23pm -McKay: "He said that it is the same company."

4.27pm - Sala:"OK thanks."


I presume the 'official' search will continue now even though enough money was raised for a private search.

The official search isn't resuming as far as I know. They are sending divers in and a ship that can search the ocean floor with sonar or something. All paid for by the money raised.

Referee stopped the game in the 9th minute so people can pay their respect. Emotional.