Chairman Mehmet Dalman says Cardiff will be “honourable” with Nantes over the £15m transfer for Emiliano Sala and has defended withholding a payment.

Dalman confirmed the French club are threatening legal action, but they are seeking “clarification” on the issue.

Sala’s body was recovered from the wreckage of a crashed plane last week.

Dalman also issued strong backing to Neil Warnock over his connection with football agents, believing people have had “knives out” for Cardiff’s manager.

Sala had been travelling to Cardiff in a light aircraft piloted by David Ibbotson that went missing over the English Channel on 21 January.

A fundraising appeal to fund an underwater search for the pilot has been set up.

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has boosted funds by donating £50,000 of his own money towards the appeal.

Confirming the Nantes action, Dalman said: “Of course, if we are contractually obliged to pay them then of course we will. We are an honourable club.

“But if we are not – and there are some anomalies in that – then surely you would expect me as the chairman and guardian of this club’s interests to look into that and hold our position. That is what we are doing.

“We are still in the process of gathering information and that process will be ongoing. And when we reach a level where we have enough information, I am sure we will sit down with Nantes and move forward.”

Dalman says Cardiff are looking to get a full picture of events.

“They [Nantes] have asked for what they believe is the money due to them and there is a process and they have initiated that process,” he added.

“What we are saying is, that we are not in agreement with that process given the extraordinary events that have taken place and the tragic circumstances. We are not making any positive or negative statements.

“We are simply saying, please understand there are a lot of questions which need to be answered and that is what we are trying to do.”

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