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.
Nantes have allegedly threatened to take legal action if Cardiff do not pay them within 10 days, although reports from Cardiff suggest the club will honour their agreement with the Ligue 1 club.
British investigators on Wednesday, February 6, said they had recovered a body from the wreckage of the plane carrying Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala in the Channel.
A shipwreck hunter hired by Sala's family with the help of funds donated by football stars such as Lionel Messi found the plane wreckage on Sunday.
An AAIB spokesman said: "Unfortunately, attempts to recover the aircraft wreckage were unsuccessful before poor weather conditions forced us to return the ROV to the ship".
Nantes, who play in France's top division, sold Sala to Premier League strugglers Cardiff in January for a fee reported to be £15million - although the fee is reported to be spread out over three years.
"The weather forecast is poor for the foreseeable future and so the hard decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close", the statement added.
Click through the gallery above to see some images of Cardiff and Nantes' tributes to Sala.
Cardiff City have withheld the first scheduled payment until they are satisfied with the documentation.
"The only thing I can say, because it is a sensitive subject, is that I confirm that what you are saying [that Cardiff haven't paid the first instalment] is true", he told L'Equipe . Referee Frank Schneider stopped play in the Ligue 1 match against St Etienne for a minute of applause during which Nantes coach Vahid Halilhodzic was in tears.
The light aircraft was later discovered lying in the bottom of the English channel after days of endless search for the missing player and pilot.
"Recovering the body is the most important for these families".
When asked why they are yet to pay, Dalman added: "The first reason is that the body has not been recovered yet".
Mearns also suggested it would be incredibly hard to lift the wreckage out of the water and revealed one way they could look to recover the body.