Cardiff City have been left surprised after French club Nantes demanded payment for the £15 million transfer of Emiliano Sala, the footballer who has still not been found after his plane went missing over the English Channel weeks ago.
Sala, the Premier League club’s record signing, was on board the Piper Malibu aircraft which disappeared from radar near Guernsey on January 21.
On Sunday, private search efforts located the plane on the seafloor but he and pilot David Ibbotson have yet to be found. The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) has not identified the body spotted in the wreckage.
Multiple reports have suggested that Cardiff received a letter from Nantes on Tuesday, in which the French Ligue 1 club threatened to take legal action if the first scheduled payment of the fee is not made within 10 days.
Although Nantes were entitled to the first instalment of Sala’s fee by now, Cardiff have been left surprised by the demand given the circumstances and the timing.
Cardiff would prefer to establish all the facts surrounding the tragedy first, Press Association Sport has said.
There is no suggestion that the Welsh club will not meet their contractual obligations but their point of view is that the investigation should first be completed.
It is also reported that Bordeaux are entitled to a cut of the fee for Argentinian striker Sala, who was on their books from 2012 to 2015 before joining Nantes.
A decision has yet to be taken on whether to raise the wreckage to the surface.