BBC publish text messages between Emiliano Sala and agent who booked flight

  • Rob Swan

The world of football is still praying that miraculous news over Emiliano Sala will soon emerge.

The Argentine striker went missing earlier this week, just days after becoming Cardiff City’s new record signing.

Sala was travelling from France to Cardiff when the plane he was travelling on disappeared over the English Channel.

Authorities have stated that the likelihood of the aircraft occupants surviving the incident are “extremely remote”.

However, Sala’s sister Romina – along with a host of high-profile footballers including Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero – have pleaded for rescuers to continue searching after Guernsey Police ended the search for the missing plane on Thursday.

Sala’s agent Willie McKay has now confirmed that he arranged the flight from Nantes but says he was not involved in selecting the plane or pilot, David Ibbotson.

McKay has now revealed text messages with Sala discussing flight arrangements, and the full transcript has been published by BBC Sport.

McKay claims Cardiff knew of the arrangements that were made, and says his two sons had a conversation with Sala about the difficulties of flying to Nantes by commercial airline.

McKay said: “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.

“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.”

The agent also says he has met Sala’s friends and family to “give them an understanding of how Emiliano came to be on that plane”.

He added: “The tragic events that have unfolded have shocked us all.”

Full text message exchange, per BBC

The messages between Jack McKay, Willie’s son and Cardiff City player, and Sala have been translated from French.

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.”

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.”

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