Cardiff to pay Sala transfer fee to Nantes ‘if obliged’

Sala memorial
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Cardiff City chairperson Mehmet Dalman said on Tuesday the club will pay the fee for striker Emiliano Sala if they are contractually required to do so. Sala had signed for the Premier League side and was flying to his new team from his old club Nantes in France when his plane went missing over the Channel on 21 January.

The wreckage was located on the seabed. Sala’s body was recovered but pilot David Ibbotson is still missing. The aircraft remains under the sea.

“If we are contractually obliged to pay them then of course we will. We are an honourable club, but if we are not and there are some anomalies in that, then surely you would expect me as the chairman and guardian of this club’s interests to look into that and hold our position. That is what we are doing,” Dalman told the BBC.

Dalman said the French club had requested the money from the £15-million ($19 million) transfer but the Bluebirds were yet to formally react.

“We are not in agreement with that process given the extraordinary events that have taken place and the tragic circumstances. We are not making any positive or negative statements. We are simply saying, please understand there are a lot of questions which need to be answered.”

Nantes gave a final rousing send-off to Argentinian Sala with a series of moving gestures in their Ligue 1 match against Nimes on Sunday. Known as the Canaries due to their yellow kit, Nantes played in a one-off full black outfit with Sala’s name on the back of each shirt.

Meanwhile, Sala’s body is to be returned to Argentina on Friday, the mayor of his hometown of Progreso, Julio Muller, told AFP Tuesday.