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Reports: Nantes To Clash With Cardiff Over Sala Payment

It was the tragedy of the transfer window when the football world lost Emiliano Sala in a plane crash on his way to his new club, but things could now get ugly as the clubs involved are reportedly clashing over the transfer fee for the player.

Click through the gallery above to see some images of Cardiff and Nantes' tributes to Sala.

The 28-year-old completed a club-record transfer from Nantes to Cardiff City on 19 January. However, the plane carrying the player back to Cardiff after he returned to France briefly to say farewell to his former teammates crashed just two days later.

David Mearns, one of the search experts involved in the rescue mission to find the plane and whose company eventually found the aircraft wreck on sea ground in the English Channel on Sunday, confirmed this week that both Sala and pilot David Ibbotson have passed away.

According to the latest reports, a legal battle between the two clubs involved in Sala's £15 million (R263 million) transfer could soon follow.

BBC Sport has reported that Nantes are threatening legal action if they do not receive the first instalment of the fee, said to be £5.27 million (R95 million), within 10 days.

It is understood that it was agreed the full transfer fee would be paid in instalments over three years, and Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman has indicated in an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe that Nantes have sent the Welsh club an invoice for the first payment.

The Bluebirds, meanwhile, have expressed their "surprise" that the French club has demanded the fee while the recovery attempt of the plane and bodies are still under way.

"We must show respect to the family. There is the process of recovering the plane," Dalman told L'Equipe.

A source at Cardiff reportedly told BBC Sport that the Premier League side will honour the contract but not until they have clarity over "all the facts".

Read: 'Sala & Pilot Are Dead'

It is unclear whether or not the club has insurance covering the costs of the transfer, with reports suggesting that the overall fee went above the £15 million mark, with four agents said to be involved in the deal.

French club Bordeaux, whom Sala played for between 2012 and 2015, are reportedly also entitled to a percentage of the fee, thought to be 50%.

Do you think it is perhaps too soon for Nantes to be demanding payment from Cardiff already? Have your say in the comments section below.

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