Premier League refuses transfer deadline extension for Cardiff amid Sala plane disappearance

Premier League refuses transfer deadline extension for Cardiff amid Sala plane disappearance
Cardiff City will not be granted a transfer deadline extension by the Premier League despite the tragic disappearance of the club’s record signing Emiliano Sala who vanished while traveling in a plane over the English Channel.

The search for Sala and pilot David Ibbotson is now in its third day after the Piper PA-46 Malibu plane they were using disappeared from radar screens while traveling from Nantes in France to Cardiff on Monday.

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Hopes are rapidly fading that the pair will be found alive, as the football world has united in extending its thoughts to those affected by the incident. 

Sala signed for Premier League team Cardiff over the weekend for £15 million (US$19.5 million). While the Welsh team is desperately hoping for the best amid emotional scenes, it must still manage everyday concerns as the club seeks to potentially recruit players as it bids to battle relegation.

Speaking to talkSPORT in an emotional interview on Thursday, chief executive Ken Choo opened up on the “physically, emotionally and mentally” difficult situation - but also revealed the Premier League would not allow additional time to sign new players beyond the transfer window deadline at the end of January.   

“I think from the club's perspective, we are managing the situation but we have another department that has to continue with looking at the transfers,” Choo said.

“I am basically multi-tasking three or four jobs at once. It is really difficult physically and emotionally and mentally to cope in a situation like this.

“We have to segregate our minds into looking for Emiliano, segregate our minds into helping the family – and the club is trying its best to provide the most care for the family and giving them the information they want, we want to tell them all the facts line-by-line,” he added.

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“We have spoken to the Premier League on how tough it is for us to cope given there are eight days to go [until the deadline] and we have been watching Emiliano for months and we got it over the line finally.

“The bottom line from the Premier League is that you have to meet the deadline like everyone else,” he added.

Sala was signed as a potential goal-scoring talisman to lead the Cardiff City frontline as the club aims to battle relegation from England’s top tier.

The 28-year-old Argentine has impressed in the French league, bagging 12 goals in 19 league games for Nantes this season.

He had been in France to bid farewell to his teammates before returning to Cardiff for his first training session on Tuesday when the plane disappeared.

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However, as of Thursday, no trace had been found of the plane amid dwindling hopes the player and pilot would be found alive.

It emerged earlier this week that Sala had sent a chilling message to his family, telling them he had fears that the plane “looks like it will fall apart.”

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Meanwhile, vigils have been held for Sala and the missing pilot at both Nantes and Cardiff as fans anxiously await further news.