NANTES (FRANCE), Jan 23: Premier League club Cardiff City�s record new signing, Emiliano Sala, is missing presumed dead after a light aircraft he was travelling in disappeared over the English Channel, with a search to find the plane being called off on Tuesday.
The Argentine striker, signed on Saturday from French club Nantes for a reported fee of 17 million euros (USD 19.3 million), was flying to Cardiff aboard the plane that disappeared from radars around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of the island of Guernsey on Monday night.
The search continued throughout Tuesday before being suspended for the night, with police on the British island warning that survival chances were �slim� if the aircraft landed on water.
A 15-hour search covering a 1,155 square-mile (3,000 square-kilometre) area in the Channel spotted �a number of floating objects in the water�, Guernsey police added.
�We have found no signs of those on board. If they did land on the water, the chances of survival are at this stage, unfortunately, slim.�
French civil aviation authorities had confirmed that 28-year-old Sala �was on board the plane�. It is thought there was one other passenger on the aircraft.
Police on Guernsey, which sits just off the north coast of France, said the pilot had requested to lower his altitude shortly before air traffic control in neighbouring Jersey lost contact with the plane.
One of the rescuers searching for the missing plane earlier admitted they were �fearing the worst�, thoughts echoed by Sala�s father Horacio.
�Sadly we are fearing the worst... The sea temperature is so cold at the moment,� John Fitzgerald, Chief Officer of Channel Islands Air Search, told AFP.
A tearful Horacio Sala told the press in Progreso, where the player�s family lives, that as �the hours go by and I don�t know anything, it makes me fear the worst�.
�I don�t know anything. Nobody spoke to me, not a call from the embassy, the club, nobody,� he said. � AFP