Nantes demand Cardiff pay the £15m transfer fee for Emiliano Sala

Nantes are demanding their first payment for Emiliano Sala

The Ligue 1 club have demanded payment from Cardiff, according to BBC Wales, but the Bluebirds are withholding fees until they are satisfied with the documentation concluding Sala's disappearance.

The Argentine striker had completed a transfer from the French club to Neil Warnock's side before a plane he was travelling on went missing on January 21.

Cardiff are "surprised" that Nantes have made the demand while recovery attempts are still being carried out.

The aircraft disappeared over the English Channel on January 21 as it flew from the French city of Nantes to Cardiff, where Sala was due to start playing in the Premier League.

The Piper Malibu N264DB which was carrying Sala and Ibbotson has recently been found with one body among the wreckage, but it has yet to be identified.

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The Welsh club are understood to be taken aback by timings of the correspondence as underwater rescue teams are still in the process of retrieving the plane where Sala is believed to have died.

The outlet reports Nantes will consider legal action if they are not paid "within 10 days", although Cardiff are said to be keen to clarify "all the facts" before honouring the deal. The wreckage was discovered on the seabed of the English Channel.

The families of Sala, Cardiff City's record signing at £15 million, and Ibbotson have been informed of the discovery.

French club Bourdeaux are also entitled to a cut of the fee, thought to be 50 per cent after Sala was on their books from 2012-2015 before joining Nantes.

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