Cardiff chairman says Nantes will get first Sala instalment when time is right

Nantes will get the first instalment for Emiliano Sala when Cardiff City feels the time is right, says chairman Mehmet Dalman.

Cardiff City players and fans pay tribute to Emiliano Sala ahead of a match.   -  Getty Images

Cardiff City chairman Mehmet Dalman has confirmed the Bluebirds are yet to pay FC Nantes the first instalment for missing striker Emiliano Sala.

Earlier on Wednesday reports emerged that the Ligue 1 club was demanding six of the €15 million from the Premier League club for the Argentine forward.

The plane carrying Sala – and pilot David Ibbotson - from Nantes to Cardiff went missing on January 21, with Guernsey Police undertaking a search for the Piper Malibu aircraft in the following days.

After that exploration was stopped, a privately-funded search for the aircraft was launched and the plane was found on Sunday, with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) confirming one passenger is visible in the submerged wreckage.

The AAIB will attempt to recover the body and, out of respect for Sala's family, Dalman says Cardiff will allow that process to be completed before dealing with the payment to Nantes.

"The only thing I can say, because it is a sensitive subject, is that I confirm that what you are saying [that Cardiff haven't paid the first instalment] is true," he told L'Equipe, adding, "And to be honest, I do not want to say anything more at this time."

When asked why it is yet to pay, Dalman added: "The first reason is that the body has not been recovered yet. We must show respect to the family. There is a process for recovering the plane. It's too early for us to comment.

"[We will pay] when we think it's the right time to do it. I don't think Cardiff said we were not going to pay."

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