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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 February 2019

Nantes fans hold vigil for missing striker Emiliano Sala - in pictures

Search resumes for missing Cardiff City striker, whose plane disappeared disappeared en route from France to Cardiff on Monday

Supporters of French club Nantes placed flowers, sung songs and held a vigil for Emiliano Sala on Tuesday evening as fears grow over the fate of the player whose aircraft disappeared en route from France to Cardiff on Monday.

The Argentine striker, 28, signed with Welsh club Cardiff City on Saturday from Nantes for a reported fee of £15 million (Dh71.35m), a club record. French authorities confirmed Sala was on board a single-engine Piper PA-46 Malibu aircraft flying to Cardiff when the plane disappeared from radar about 20km north of the island of Guernsey on Monday night. It is thought there was one other passenger on the aircraft.

Nantes called for supporters to join together at Place Royale on Tuesday evening, where yellow tulips and other tributes were laid.

Flares were lit and fans chanted Sala's name, a player they hold in high regard after the Argentine's exploits in front of goal this season that yielded 12 Ligue 1 goals before he signed with the Premier League club last weekend.

Cardiff fans also laid flags and scarves outside the club's stadium as a mark of respect.

Search and rescue operations resumed on Wednesday, although Guernsey Police confirmed the chances of finding either Sala or the pilot alive were "slim".

Meanwhile, it emerged on Wednesday Sala had expressed concern about his plane shortly before the light aircraft disappeared over the English Channel, according to an audio message sent to friends and relatives.

"I'm on a plane that looks like it's going to fall apart, and I'm leaving for Cardiff," Sala said in a WhatsApp audio message broadcast by Argentine media.

"If in an hour and a half you have no news from me, I don't know if they will send people to look for me, because they will not find me, you know. Dad, I'm so scared."

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Read more:

Emiliano Sala sent message saying he was 'scared about plane' before it disappeared

Cardiff 'shocked and distressed' at news plane carrying new striker Emiliano Sala crashed in English Channel

Emiliano Sala: The missing Cardiff City striker who was pushing Neymar in France's goal rankings

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Updated: January 23, 2019 10:16 AM

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