'Dad, how scared am I!': Missing footballer Emiliano Sala's heartbreaking final message

These are the chilling last words of a missing Argentinian footballer which seem to predict what would happen to the plane he was on.

Emiliano Sala was being flown to his new Premier League club when the aircraft disappeared over the English Channel.

But just before it did, Sala sent out an audio message saying the plane was about to fall apart.

"So I am here on a plane that looks like it's about to fall apart," he said.

"If you have no news from me in an hour and a half, I don't know, send someone to find me. Dad, how scared am I!"

Sala joined Premier League strugglers Cardiff City from FC Nantes last week for a club record fee of about £19 million (NZ$36.6m). He had played in France since 2012.

After saying goodbye to his French teammates, he was due to land in Cardiff, Wales a couple of hours later.

Before boarding his plane, he posted a picture with a poignant tagline which said "the final goodbye".

The plane, a single engine Piper Malibu, took off from Nantes at 7:15pm (local time) but then lost contact with air traffic control.

Lifeboats and helicopters have scoured the English Channel, but there's no confirmed sighting of the plane as yet.

"We have found no signs of those on board," Guernsey Police tweeted. "If they did land on the water, the chances of survival are at this stage, unfortunately, slim."

John Fitzgerald, chief officer of the Channel Islands Air Search, said the chances of finding Sala alive were "reducing very rapidly".

"I think with the sea temperatures and the sea conditions the chances of finding anybody alive are reducing all the time," he said.

"The sea temperatures are very, very cold and just sap the core temperature of anybody in the water very, very quickly."