English Premier League Sport

Ranieri ‘devastated’ by Sala news

Claudio Ranieri says he is devastated at the news Emiliano Sala was aboard a light aircraft that went missing on Monday night.

Ranieri coached the Argentina striker during his spell at Nantes and Sala was his top scorer during the 2017-18 season when he tallied 12 goals.

Sala, who had scored another dozen Ligue 1 goals this season, signed for Cardiff City on Friday night and was returning to Wales on Monday evening when the aircraft he was flying in disappeared from radar contact near the Channel Islands.

He had been back to Nantes to collect the remainder of his belongings and say goodbye to team-mates, many of whom Ranieri had coached last season.

The search for the missing plane was suspended on Tuesday evening and will restart after dawn on Wednesday.

The Italian said: “Like everyone else, I was devastated to hear the news this morning that Emiliano was on board the aircraft.

“Emiliano is a wonderful character. Knowing him as a person, he’s a fighter.

“He’s a fantastic footballer who always gave his best when we worked together in France.

“The world of football will be united in wishing and hoping for some positive news.

“In the meantime, I – along with the Nantes and Fulham families – pray for Emiliano and his family.”

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