Former Newcastle winger Christian Atsu is missing after earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria on Monday; There had been reports the 31-year-old had been rescued but Hatayspor director said on Wednesday the Ghanian has still not been located
Wednesday 8 February 2023 15:57, UK
Former Newcastle winger Christian Atsu remains missing after an earthquake in Turkey, despite previous reports he'd been rescued.
Volkan Demirel, director at Atsu's club Hatayspor told Reuters on Wednesday the player had still not been located after it had been announced he'd been pulled from the rubble and taken to hospital on Monday, following the huge earthquakes which have devastated parts of Turkey and neighbouring Syria.
"There is no information on his whereabouts yet, we don't know where he is," Demirel said. "It's not the case that he was pulled out or taken anywhere else."
The search for Atsu is ongoing, Demirel added. The Ghana international joined Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor in September 2022 after spending nearly a decade at Chelsea and Newcastle United.
Atsu was reported missing after team-mates and members of the club's technical staff had reportedly been pulled from the rubble.
More than 10,000 people have been killed after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit south-eastern Turkey and northern Syria during the early hours of Monday morning, followed by a second of 7.5.
Atsu was part of the Newcastle team which won promotion back to the Premier League in 2017 after joining on loan for the season from Chelsea, and later completed a permanent move. He also had brief spells at Everton and Bournemouth on a temporary basis.
Atsu, who scored deep into stoppage time on Sunday to secure a 1-0 win over Kasimpasa, left St James' Park during the summer of 2021 after making 121 appearances for the club.
Turkish goalkeeper Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan died following Monday's earthquake in the country.
The 28-year-old's club, second division Yeni Malatyaspor, confirmed the news on Twitter.
"Our goalkeeper, Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan, lost his life after being under the collapse of the earthquake. Rest in peace," they wrote. "We will not forget you, beautiful person."