Cardiff City will not be granted an extension to the transfer window by the Premier League despite the disappearance of new signing Emiliano Sala, their chief executive Ken Choo said.
Rescuers are now into their third day of searching for the Argentine striker and pilot David Ibbotson after their aircraft disappeared from radar over the English Channel on Monday night.
Guernsey Police said their exhaustive search for the single-engine plane, which was travelling from Nantes to Cardiff, has now finished after three days.
Cardiff City chief executive Ken Choo (right) has said the Premier League will not grant the club any extension to the transfer window following the disappearance of Emiliano Sala (left)
£15m signing from Nantes Sala is missing presumed dead after the plane he was travelling in was lost over the English Channel on Monday night
Choo said that while the club remains in shock at events, they still have to meet the transfer deadline of January 31 for signing new players.
Choo told talkSPORT: ‘I think from the club’s perspective, we are managing the situation but we have another department that has to continue with looking at the transfers.
‘I am basically multi-tasking three or four jobs at once. It is really difficult physically and emotionally and mentally to cope in a situation like this.
‘We have to segregate our minds into looking for Emiliano, segregate our minds into helping the family – and the club is trying its best to provide the most care for the family and giving them the information they want, we want to tell them all the facts line-by-line.
‘We are still running a business which continues, we still have to meet the transfer deadline.
‘We have spoken to the Premier League on how tough it is for us to cope given there are eight days to go [until the deadline] and we have been watching Emiliano for months and we got it over the line finally.
Tributes have been pouring in for the Argentinian who had just signed for Cardiff City
Scarves with personalised messages were laid outside as fans continued to pay their respects
‘And now we have eight days to go and we don’t really know how to cope with this scenario but we have to meet the deadline.
‘The bottom line from the Premier League is that you have to meet the deadline like everyone else.’
Choo added that the Cardiff dressing room is ‘sombre’ with the players and coaching staff ‘all shocked with the situation.’
The Bluebirds, who were knocked out of the FA Cup by Gillingham in the third round, do as a result not have a match this weekend but are scheduled to return to action in the Premier League at Arsenal next Tuesday.
Choo said he has to ensure everyone rallies together through what is obviously a very traumatic time for the club.
He said: ‘I went to see the first-team yesterday. I have to ensure the manager is fine, the coaching team is fine, the office staff are fine and the players are fine.
A Nantes fan chants and displays a club shirt with Sala’s name on the back on Tuesday evening
‘I spoke to the captain [Sean Morrison] and some of the leaders and they are trying to cope with the situation. The dressing room is pretty sombre, they are all shocked with the situation.
‘As chief executive, I have to try and pull them together, to try to get over this and we have a game to play next week.
‘Everyone knows it is difficult, the players are aware of all the facts but we still have to pull up our socks and get on with it.’
Guernsey Police announced on Thursday afternoon that they had halted the search for the aircraft following an extensive, three-day trawl of 1,700 square miles.
It came as agent Mark McKay confirmed that he chartered the Piper PA-46 Malibu single engine to fly Sala from Nantes to Cardiff in order to arrive in time for training on Tuesday following his £15million transfer.
McKay, who worked on behalf of Nantes told how he arranged the return flight from Cardiff after Sala asked for help to get home quicker.
The Piper Malibu light aircraft Sala was travelling on, similar to the model seen in the picture above, was not organised by Cardiff City, the club chairman has confirmed
Hundreds of Cardiff City supporters have laid tributes to Emiliano Sala outside the stadium
Flags, scarves, shirts and flowers covered the floor, with new tributes arriving by the minute
‘When Emiliano made myself and his agent Melissa N’Diaye aware that he wished to travel back to Nantes following his medical and signing, I looked into arranging a private flight to take him to Nantes on Saturday morning.’
Choo said that Cardiff had offered to get Sala on a commercial flight to the UK from Paris but were informed the player had already made travel arrangements.
He said: ‘We made offers for Emiliano to fly on commercial [flights] from Paris but the player said ‘don’t worry about that, I have alternative arrangements, I will see you at the [training] ground on Tuesday.
‘He requested our club officials pick him up from the airport in Cardiff on Monday night after touchdown at 8.45pm.
‘On hindsight, we should have pushed but we had communicated with the player and we had to respect the wishes of the player. I think that is very important, we did not want to make the player uncomfortable on any arrangements.’