Nantes have reportedly informed Cardiff City they will start legal proceedings against the Premier League club if they do not make the first payment for £15 million striker Emiliano Sala, who is missing and presumed dead.
Sala was aboard a plane that disappeared from radar on January 21, with the wreckage only discovered on Sunday near the coast of Guernsey in the English Channel.
According to BBC Wales (h/t BBC Sport), Cardiff had withheld the first payment to the French club while investigations continued, but Nantes have now asked for the money to be received in the next 10 days.
The light aircraft was also carrying pilot David Ibbotson, who was transporting Sala from France to Wales to join up with his new team.
Stuart James of the Guardian reported the player's body is yet to be recovered, leaving Cardiff "shocked and dismayed" by Nantes' financial request. There is no suggestion the Bluebirds will not pay Sala's transfer fee, but the timing of the demand has surprised the Welsh club.
Sala was a Cardiff player for only two days before the tragic accident, and it is reportedly believed the Bluebirds hold a £16 million insurance policy for the Argentinian forward, per James.
Bordeaux also are expected to receive part of the transfer fee due to a sell-on clause, with Sala moving from the club to Nantes in 2015.