Premier League club Cardiff have requested a meeting with French outfit Nantes to resolve their dispute over Emiliano Sala’s transfer fee, the Welsh-based side said on Wednesday.
Cardiff also obtained from the world governing body FIFA — to whom Nantes had referred the case — an extension to the Wednesday deadline for the two clubs to hand over evidence, so they could rule on it, to April 15.
Sala, 28, died along with the pilot David Ibbotson when the Piper Malibu aircraft they were travelling in came down in the English Channel on January 21, two days after Cardiff had signed the Argentinian striker for a club record £15million ($19.7million) from Nantes.
Since the tragedy, both clubs have engaged in an unedifying war of words over the fee with a source close to Cardiff telling The Daily Telegraph last week they do not owe anything as they consider the contract to be “null and void”.
The Daily Telegraph said Sala signed a contract with Cardiff that was rejected by the Premier League and died before a revised one could be signed, adding there is a dispute about whether he had agreed to sign a new deal.
The Premier League club sounded a more conciliatory note on Wednesday issuing a statement to say they were willing to talk directly to the French side.
“Cardiff City has requested and been granted an extension to the deadline to respond to Fifa on this matter.
“Cardiff City recently wrote to FC Nantes proposing a meeting to discuss issues surrounding the Emiliano Sala tragedy and planned transfer, in line with Fifa’s request for our two clubs to come to a resolution directly.
“To date, Cardiff City has not received a response from FC Nantes.”
Nantes reportedly plan to dispute Cardiff’s case, saying the club completed the required paperwork.