Emiliano Sala: Cardiff City striker feared to be on missing plane as Lee-on-the-Solent helicopters join search

COASTGUARDS are searching for a light aircraft which has gone missing over the English Channel and is thought to have been carrying Cardiff City’s record signing Emiliano Sala, according to reports.

Helicopters from Lee-on-the-Solent as well as Newquay have been looking for the plane which went missing off Alderney in the Channel Islands last night. 

According to reports the Bluebirds record signing 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).  

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‘HM Coastguard helicopters from Solent and Newquay have been helping to search overnight with nothing found.’ 

Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala is feared to be one of passengers on a plane which has gone missing over the English Channel. Picture: AP Photo/Claude Paris, File

Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala is feared to be one of passengers on a plane which has gone missing over the English Channel. Picture: AP Photo/Claude Paris, File

The struggling Premier League side announced the signing of Sala from Nantes in a £15 million deal on Saturday. 

French media, quoting police sources, said the 28-year-old striker was on the light aircraft that disappeared from radar on Monday night. 

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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.’

Lee-on-the-Solent based helicopter is taking part in the search for the missing plane. Picture: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Lee-on-the-Solent based helicopter is taking part in the search for the missing plane. Picture: Chris Ison/PA Wire

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.’

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.’