The search was suspended until sunrise on Tuesday morning – and while police confirmed they had found “floating objects”, officers said there was “no sign of those on board”.
In a statement, Guernsey Police said: “During the course of the 15-hour search, which used multiple air and sea assets from the Channel Islands, UK and France, a number of floating objects have been seen in the water.
“We have been unable to confirm whether any of these are from the missing aircraft. We have found no signs of those on board. If they did land on the water, the chances of survival are at this stage, unfortunately, slim.”French police have confirmed Sala was on the flight.
Air Traffic Control said the aircraft was travelling from Nantes in western France to Cardiff when it went missing.An official involved in the search has cast doubt on whether either of the two passengers on the aircraft will have survived a crash.
Channel Islands Air Search chief officer John Fitzgerald said: “After all this time the weather’s quite cold, the water is very cold out there… I am not expecting anyone to be alive.
“I don’t think the coastguard are either. We just don’t know how it disappeared.”
He said the plane “just completely vanished”.
Concerns were raised when the 28-year-old Cardiff forward failed to respond to messages on social media after reports he had been travelling to the UK on Monday.
The Argentinian, who had played in France since 2012, made Cardiff City history when he was bought for a record fee of £18m on a three-and-a-half year deal from Nantes at the weekend.In one of his last social media posts, he shared a photo with his former teammates, writing “Ciao” and adding heart emojis.
One of his former teammates had taken him to the airport for his flight and Nantes have postponed their Wednesday night French Cup game.
Cardiff City CEO Ken Choo said: “We were very shocked upon hearing the news that the plane had gone missing. We expected Emiliano to arrive last night into Cardiff and today was due to be his first day with the team.
“Our owner, Tan Sri Vincent Tan, and chairman, Mehmet Dalman, are all very distressed about the situation.
“We made the decision first thing this morning to call off training with the thoughts of the squad, management staff and the entire Club with Emiliano and the pilot.
“All of us at Cardiff City FC would like to thank our fans, and the entire footballing family for their support at this difficult time.
“We continue to pray for positive news.”