The Argentine has been missing since contact was lost with his plane on Monday, with police officially calling off the search at the weekend
Agent Willie McKay has revealed an exchange of text messages with Emiliano Sala prior to the tragic disappearance of the new Cardiff City signing.
A light aircraft that had taken off from Nantes carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson went missing over the English Channel on Monday evening, prompting a massive search of the area.
The former Nantes striker’s disappearance provoked a wave of support on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, with footballing figures from Argentina, Europe and across the world sending tributes and pleading for search operations to continue.
On Saturday, however, Guernsey Police released a statement confirming that they had called off the operation, admitting that chances of survival were “extremely remote”.
The events surrounding the chartering of the Piper Malibu craft, with Cardiff stating that they were not aware of Sala’s travel plans until the last minute.
The club has now opened an internal inquiry to determined what happened prior to Sala’s fateful take-off, which occurred days after the Argentine signed a club-record £15 million deal to join from Nantes.
And agent McKay has responded by releasing to the BBC a copy of the messages send between Sala and his son Jack – a fellow Cardiff player – prior to take-off.
McKay’s other son, Mark, acted as the agent for Nantes during transfer negotiations.
“With regards to the booking of the flight we contacted Mr David Henderson, who has flown us and many of our players all over Europe on countless occasions,” McKay said.
“We had no involvement in selecting a plane or a pilot and we also wish to make clear again we do not own the plane that Emiliano flew on.”
McKay also asserted that Cardiff officials were aware of Sala’s travel plans, as the Argentine wished to return from Cardiff to Nantes following his signing to collect his personal belongings and say goodbye to team-mates.
Friday, 18 January
7:43pm – Jack McKay:”My dad has told me that you are going home tomorrow. He could organise a plane to take you direct to Nantes and to come back on Monday, at a time that suits you, so you can get to training on Tuesday.”
7:51pm-Emiliano Sala: “Ah that is great. I was just in the middle of checking if there are some flights to get to Nantes tomorrow.”
7:56pm-McKay: “He said he could organise a plane that would go direct to Nantes.”
7:56pm- Sala: “How much will it cost?”
7:56pm-McKay: “Nothing. He said if you help me to score goals it’s nothing.”
7:59pm-Sala: “Hahaha with pleasure.”
8:00pm- Sala: “We are going to score lots of goals.”
8:01pm – Sala: “I want to leave tomorrow for Nantes at around 11am and come back on Monday night around 9pm to Cardiff if that is possible.”
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8:05pm -McKay:”Good. I’ll send a message when that’s sorted.”
Sunday, 20 January
5:00pm – McKay: “Hi there is it possible you could come back at seven in the evening on Monday night? Just because the pilot has to get home in the north after he gets to Cardiff.”
5:01pm – Sala:”Hi, Half past seven would be possible.”
5:03pm – McKay:”Yes that’s good.”
5:05pm -Sala: “[PICTURE OF LUGGAGE] Can you ask if I can bring this on the plane?”
5:06pm -McKay: “Good yeah.”
5:07pm – Sala:”But is that going to be OK for the plane?”
McKay: “Yes there is space on the plane for your luggage.”
5:12pm – Sala: “OK.”
Monday, 21 January
4:16pm – McKay: “I’m going to call in a moment.”
4.23pm -McKay: “He said that it is the same company.”
4.27pm – Sala:”OK thanks.”