Emiliano Sala's messages with agent's son organising flight revealed

Search for missing plane carrying Sala ended on Thursday

Emiliano Sala 6:18
Sky Sports News reporter Craig Slater explains the text conversation

Messages shared between Emiliano Sala and the son of agent Willie McKay discussing flight arrangements have been revealed.

Willie McKay says although he arranged the flight for Sala, he did not own the plane, select the aircraft or the pilot.

After signing for Cardiff last Friday, Sala wanted to return to Nantes to say goodbye to team-mates and collect his belongings before returning to Cardiff on Monday, and McKay stepped in after Sala struggled to find a commercial flight.

Jack, Willie, Mark & Paul McKay (left to right)
Image: Jack, Willie, Mark and Paul McKay (left to right)

Text messages released between Sala and Jack McKay - Willie's son who plays for Cardiff - show that Sala decided to take the offer of a private flight to and from Nantes.

Willie McKay arranged the flight through a company he says he has used many times before.

A member of the public holds up a photograph of missing footballer Emiliano Sala during a vigil in Nantes, western France 0:40
Nantes coach Vahid Halihodzic has criticised the decision to call off the search

In a statement, McKay said: "In regards to the booking of the flight, we contacted 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 wish to make clear we do not own the plane that Emiliano flew on. As the text messages show: Emiliano was not asked for payment for the flight.

An FC Nantes supporter stands beside a portrait of Emiliano Sala outside the club's training centre 0:47
Cardiff's players will want to put in a strong performance in honour of Sala when they return to action, according to the club's former striker Nathan Blake

"My sons, Mark, Jack and I and the rest of the McKay family would like to offer our sincere support for the Sala family and support their calls for the search to continue."

Below is a transcript of the messages between Jack McKay and Sala leading up to the plane's disappearance on Monday night:

FRIDAY JANUARY 18

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: "We are going to score lots of goals."

8:01pm: "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 JANUARY 20

5:00pm - Jack 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 - Emiliano 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 JANUARY 21

4:16pm - Jack McKay: "I'm going to call in a moment."

[Emiliano Sala voice message]

4.23pm - McKay: "He said that it is the same company."

4.27pm - Sala: "Ok thanks."

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