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Wreckage From Plane Carrying Missing Football Player Emiliano Sala Found

Wreckage from the plane carrying missing Premier League striker Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been found in the English Channel.

Search director David Mearns said the FPV Morven vessel made the discovery early on Sunday morning (local time).

Sala boarded the Piper Malibu private plane on January 21 from France bound for Cardiff. The flight lost contact with air traffic controllers off Alderney in the Channel Islands.

The Argentine striker had been due to complete a transfer from French club FC Nantes to Cardiff City as the Welsh club looked to avoid relegation from the English Premier League.

Supporters from both sides constructed memorials for Sala after an earlier official search was called off on January 25, when rescue efforts proved to be in vain.

READ MORE: Fans' Beautiful Message To Soccer Player Lost In Plane Crash

A tribute to the Cardiff City striker during a match at Liberty Stadium in Swansea. Image: AAP

Part of a seat cushion believed to be from the plane was found on a beach near Surtainville, on France's Cotentin Peninsula, on January 28.

David Mearns directed a privately-funded underwater search operation on behalf of the Sala family, working with the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB).

His vessel 'FPV Morgen' and an AAIB vessel 'Geo Ocean III' began searching an area 24 nautical miles north of Guernsey on February 3 before making the discovery.

Mearns said the families of Sala and Ibbotson have been notified by police.

"Tonight, our sole thoughts are with the families and friends of Emiliano and David," he wrote on Twitter.

Contact the author ebrancatisano@networkten.com.au

Featured image: AAP