Argentina's ambassador to the United Kingdom has requested that the British government resume the search for missing Cardiff City player Emiliano Sala as the striker's family prepare a private effort of their own.

Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona have added to the growing calls for the search for Emiliano Sala to be resumed, with the family of the missing Cardiff City striker hiring a private company to continue looking for the footballer.

Nantes coach Vahid Halilhodzic has pleaded with authorities to resume the search for his missing former player Emiliano Sala.

Manchester City star Sergio Aguero added his voice to those calling on police to resume their search for missing Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala.

Paris Saint-Germain's Coupe de France defence will continue with a trip to third-tier Villefranche in the last 16.

The Premier League has confirmed a moment of silent reflection for Emiliano Sala will be held before the next round of fixtures.

Sala became Cardiff City's record signing when he joined from Ligue 1 side Nantes on Saturday but he went missing two days later.

No trace of the plane carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been found despite extensive searches over the last three days.

And Guernsey Police confirmed in a statement on Thursday the search has been called off, as chances of survival are "extremely remote".

Premier League matches on January 29 and 30 will be used to show support to Sala's family.

"The Premier League is deeply saddened to learn that the active search for Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has ended," the league's statement said.

"Our thoughts are with the two men and their loved ones. We will continue to support our friends at Cardiff City at this incredibly sad time.

"As a mark of respect there will be a moment of silent reflection for Emiliano and David at all Premier League matches next week."

Emiliano Sala's family have urged police to reconsider calling off the search for the missing Cardiff City striker.

Search and rescue efforts resumed for a third day early on Thursday after the Piper Malibu aircraft with Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on board went missing en route to the Welsh capital on Monday.

But Guernsey Police confirmed that following an extensive operation covering approximately 1,700 square miles around the Channel Islands, no trace of the plane, pilot or passenger had been found.

Harbour master captain David Barker said in a statement the search would therefore cease as "the chances of survival at this stage are extremely remote".

Sala's family, however, believe it is too soon to stop looking.

"I'm very confused," Sala's sister Romina said to ESPN. "The only thing that I want is that my brother and the pilot be found.

"We ask them [the authorities] to put themselves in our place, in the hearts of the relatives.

"Please, don't stop searching. I know that they are alive and they are waiting for us."

Sala's father Horacio also urged Guernsey Police to reconsider their decision.

"We are asking to please keep looking for him," he said to TyC Sports.

"We can't believe that they are cancelling the search. I ask that [they] please continue the search.

"It can't be that a plane disappears and there is no trace of anything."

Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman stated Sala made his own travel arrangements, while Mark McKay – an agent involved in brokering the player's move to the Bluebirds – confirmed he organised the flight but denied the missing aircraft was owned by him or his family.

Nantes supporters held vigils in the striker's honour in the French city, while their scheduled Coupe de France fixture against Entente SSG was postponed.

When Cardiff City and Nantes debated over whether Emiliano Sala would be allowed to play one last match for the French club last week, nobody could have anticipated the desperate turn of events that would make such a matter feel so incredibly trivial.

During negotiations between the two clubs, Nantes had reportedly been keen for Sala to feature against Angers on Sunday, but it was Cardiff who eventually got their way and the Argentine striker's club-record £18million move to the Welsh capital was confirmed late on Saturday.

It was a story typical of the January transfer window – a buying club tenaciously chasing mid-season reinforcements but facing stubbornness from a selling club determined not to be left in the lurch by the loss of one of their key players.

Typical, that is, until a light aircraft transporting Sala to Wales from western France disappeared over the English Channel late on Monday.

Following a three-day operation covering approximately 1,700 square miles around the Channel Islands, a statement issued by Guernsey Police from harbour master Captain David Barker confirmed active search and rescue efforts had been abandoned after his team had been "unable to find any trace of the aircraft, the pilot or the passenger".

Sala and his pilot David Ibbotson are "missing, presumed alive", with Barker stating this must be the case until they are found. However, chances of survival at this state are considered "extremely remote" with an extensive outpouring of grief and sympathy from across the football community expected to continue.

Sala's professional breakthrough came during his time playing for Proyecto Crecer in his homeland – a youth academy with links to Ligue 1 side Bordeaux, who spotted his talent and brought him to Europe in 2012.

Although his time at Bordeaux demanded patience – Sala only made 11 league appearances for the club over three years – loan periods at Orleans, Niort and Caen gave him a platform to demonstrate his abilities.

Nineteen goals in 37 matches at third-tier Orleans, 18 in 37 league games with Ligue 2 outfit Niort and then five in 13 top-flight appearances with Caen – a period in which he played alongside N'Golo Kante and Thomas Lemar - convinced Nantes to take him to Stade de la Beaujoire on a five-year contract in 2015, paying a reported €1million for his services.

Sala quickly became a regular starter for Nantes and he racked up 42 league goals in three-and-a-half seasons for the club. This season, only Paris Saint-Germain's star trio of Kylian Mbappe (17), Edinson Cavani (14) and Neymar (13), along with in-demand Lille forward Nicolas Pepe (13), have outscored Sala, who netted 12 from 19 games in Ligue 1.

Such form persuaded Cardiff that Sala was the man to fire them away from the relegation zone and parted with a reported £18m

In November last year, Cardiff earned praise for their conduct and compassion when hosting Leicester City in the Foxes' first match since the death of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash that claimed the lives of five people.

Following Thursday's dispiriting developments from football's latest aviatic incident, it is Cardiff themselves, Nantes and Sala's heartbroken family and friends who need the sport to continue rallying around them.

The search for the missing aircraft that was carrying Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala has been abandoned, with Guernsey Police assessing the chances of survival as being "extremely remote".

Search and rescue efforts resumed for a third day early on Thursday after the Piper Malibu with Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on board went missing en route to the Welsh capital on Monday.

The 28-year-old Argentinian forward became Cardiff's record signing when he agreed to join them from Ligue 1 side Nantes over the weekend.

Following an extensive operation covering approximately 1,700 square miles around the Channel Islands, a statement issued by Guernsey Police from harbour master captain David Barker confirmed the active search had been abandoned after his team had been "unable to find any trace of the aircraft, the pilot or the passenger".

"My team have just met to review the search and rescue operation which has been underway since the plane disappeared on Monday night," Barker said.

"Despite the best efforts of air and search assets from the Channel Islands, UK and France, which has covered an area of approximately 1,700sq. miles – with a significant amount of this searched more than once – and having examined mobile phone data and satellite imagery, we have been unable to find any trace of the aircraft, the pilot or the passenger.

"There has been over 24 hours of continuous searching, with 80 hours combined flying time across three planes and five helicopters. Two lifeboats have also been involved, as well as assistance from various passing ships and fishing boats.

"We reviewed all the information available to us, as well as knowing what emergency equipment was on board, and have taken the difficult decision to end the search.

"The chances of survival at this stage are extremely remote.

"Next of kin have been informed of this development, and my thoughts go out to the family of the pilot and passenger at this most difficult of times."

In a subsequent media briefing, Barker confirmed Sala's family had expressed their dissatisfaction at the search being called off.

"I have spoken to the family of Mr Ibbotsen, I haven't had a chance to speak to the family of Emiliano Sala but I have offered if that's what they want," he said.

"I understand that the family of Emiliano Sala are not content with the decision to stop the search and I fully understand that.

"I am absolutely confident that we could not have done any more.

"The records will be passed to the air accident and investigation branch and they will determine what the next steps are for them. At the same time, it remains a missing person case as far as Guernsey Police are concerned."

Asked whether Sala and Ibbotsen were missing, presumed alive, Barker responded: "They have to be until they are found."

Following Tuesday's fruitless search, Guernsey Police stated the chances of survival were slim, if the plane landed on water.

On Wednesday, the search became focused upon four possible outcomes, with the priority area being a scenario where Sala and Ibbotson made it to the life raft on board the aircraft.

Other possibilities identified were landing elsewhere or being picked up by a passing ship without making contact and the plane breaking up on contact with water, leaving them in the sea.

Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman stated Sala had made his own travel arrangements, while Mark McKay – an agent involved in brokering the player's move to Cardiff – confirmed he had organised the flight but denied the missing aircraft was owned by him or his family.

Nantes supporters have held vigils in Sala's honour in the French city, while their scheduled Coupe de France fixture against Entente SSG was postponed.

Floral tributes were laid outside Cardiff City Stadium and chief executive Ken Choo described the Premier League club's dressing room as "pretty sombre" in an interview with talkSPORT.

Neil Warnock's side lie 18th in the table and are due to face Arsenal at Emirates Stadium next Tuesday.

The search for the private aircraft that carried Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala has been abandoned, with Guernsey Police assessing the chances of survival as being "extremely remote".

Cardiff City must abide by the January 31 transfer deadline as they attempt to bolster a "pretty sombre" dressing room.

The Welsh club are still coming to terms with the disappearance of the plane carrying Argentine striker Emiliano Sala on Monday.

Sala, who became Cardiff's record signing last week after agreeing to join from Ligue 1 side Nantes, was confirmed by French authorities as one of two people aboard a Piper Malibu that vanished en route to the Welsh capital.

The search for the aircraft carried into a third day on Thursday but hopes of a positive outcome continue to recede.

Football matters have, understandably, been a secondary consideration but Cardiff CEO Ken Choo admitted the club are trying to bring in new players before the window closes in a week's time.

He told talkSPORT: "From the club's perspective we are managing this situation but we have another department that has to continue with looking at transfers.

"I am multi-tasking three or four jobs at once, it's really difficult physically and mentally to cope in a situation like this when we have to segregate our minds to look for Emiliano, to help the family - and the club is trying its best to provide the most care for the family and give them the information that is factual.

"We are trying to co-ordinate with the authorities and yet we are still running a business which continues, we still have to meet the [transfer] deadline.

"We have spoken with the Premier League on how tough it is for us to cope given there are eight days to go and we have been watching Emiliano Sala for months and we got it over the line finally.

"We have eight days to go and we don't really know how to cope in this scenario, we have to meet the deadline, the bottom line from the Premier League is that you have to meet the deadline like everyone else."

Cardiff are 18th in the Premier League table, two points adrift of Newcastle United.

Choo added: "I went to see the first team yesterday to ensure the manager is fine, the coaching team is fine, the back-office staff are fine and the players are fine.

"I spoke to the captain [Sean Morrison] and some of the leaders, the rest of the players. They are trying to cope with the situation, the dressing room is pretty sombre, they are all pretty shocked.

"As chief executive I have to pull them together and try to get through this and we have a game to play next week [at Arsenal on Tuesday].

"Everyone knows it's difficult, the players are aware of all the facts but we have to pull up our socks and get on with it."

Former Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is praying for some positive news surrounding missing striker Emiliano Sala.

The Argentine forward, who became Cardiff's record signing last week after agreeing a move from Nantes in Ligue 1, was aboard a plane that disappeared on its way to the Welsh capital on Monday.

Thursday saw the start of a third day of searching for the missing aircraft and Guernsey Police confirmed that efforts have been resumed using a Channel Islands Air Search plane.

Manchester United interim boss Solskjaer, who managed Cardiff for a brief spell in 2014, is hoping there will soon be some good news.

"It's tragic news and you know when you wake up you hope to read the news that there is some good news, but of course the more time that goes the less likely it is and it's just tragic for the boy and for the family, of course, and everyone involved and associated with [him]," the Norwegian told a media conference.

"It's just one of those things that you don't think is going to happen in 2019, so we just keep on hoping and praying that there will be some good news."

 

Authorities have begun a third day of searching for the missing aircraft carrying Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala.

Guernsey Police confirmed early on Thursday that efforts have been resumed using a Channel Islands Air Search plane.

Sala, who became Cardiff's record signing last week after agreeing to join from Ligue 1 side Nantes, was confirmed by French authorities as one of two people aboard a Piper Malibu that disappeared en route to the Welsh capital on Monday.

On Wednesday, Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman confirmed the player had made his own travel arrangements after the Premier League club had sought to fly him back from France via a commercial flight.

Mark McKay, an agent involved in brokering Sala's move to Cardiff, confirmed via a statement that he arranged the 28-year-old's flight but denied reports that the missing aircraft was owned by him or his family.

"I wish to make clear that despite media reports, the plane involved in this terrible episode was not owned in any way or part by either myself or any member of my family," he said via Sky Sports.

"I have chosen to wait a few days before making a statement so that the focus remained on the efforts of the search and rescue teams looking for Emiliano Sala and the pilot of the missing plane.

"Along with everyone in the world of football, I want to express my sadness and that of my family with regards to the tragic events that have unfolded since Monday evening.

"The families of both Emiliano and that of the pilot are utmost in our thoughts and prayers. I knew Emiliano well, he was a wonderful person and I count myself fortunate to have known him."

Cardiff City wanted Emiliano Sala to take a commercial flight to Wales from France, club chairman Mehmet Dalman has said, with police having called off the search for the missing player for a second day.

The search for the missing plane that was carrying Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala has so far proved unsuccessful.

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