Emiliano Sala was returning to Cardiff after signing for the club on the weekend

The search for a missing aircraft that was carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala has resumed.

The Argentine striker (28) was one of two people on board the plane which lost contact off Alderney in the Channel Islands on Monday night.

Sala reportedly sent a WhatsApp voice message to family, saying he was “really scared”.

Media in Argentina reported that he said: “I’m on a plane that looks like it’s going to fall apart.”

Five aircraft and two lifeboats scoured more than 1,000 sq miles for traces of the Piper Malibu plane on Tuesday.

And the search continued from first light on Wednesday.

But John Fitzgerald, chief officer of Channel Islands Air Search, said: “Sadly, I really don’t think, personally, there is any hope.

“I think even the most fit person if they are in the water would not last longer more than a very few hours.

“At this time of year the conditions out there are pretty horrendous if you are actually in the water.”

Sala was heading to the Welsh capital after signing for the Bluebirds from French club Nantes in a £15m deal.

Cardiff City chairman Mehmet Dalman said players and fans were in a “state of shock”.

“We are still praying,” he said, adding that the club had received messages of support from around the world.

He also confirmed that the club had not booked the plane for the trip, adding that Sala had “made his own arrangements”.