Body recovered from wreckage of plane carrying Emiliano Sala

A body has been recovered from the wreckage of the plane that was carrying Argentina-born professional soccer player Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) in Britain said late on Wednesday.

The agency did not disclose the identity of the body.

The body was "successfully recovered" but attempts to recover the aircraft wreckage were unsuccessful, the AAIB said in a statement. The overall operation was brought to an end due to "poor weather conditions," the agency said.

Sala, 28, had been en route from Nantes in western France on Jan. 21 to make his debut for Premier League team Cardiff City when the plane disappeared over the English Channel.

The wreckage was found on Sunday following a privately-funded underwater search.

Sala had agreed to join Welsh club Cardiff for a club-record fee of £15 million ($19.63 million) from French Ligue 1 club Nantes. He and the pilot are believed to have died as the single-engined Piper Malibu aircraft crashed into the sea.

Nantes have demanded payment from Cardiff City for the first instalment of the transfer fee of Sala, a source confirmed to ESPN FC earlier on Wednesday. Cardiff plan to honour their financial commitment to the deal but had been withholding the transfer fee until the investigation into the incident had concluded. Nantes demand that the first instalment be paid within 10 days under the threat of legal action.

Reuters contributed to this report.