Former Chelsea and Newcastle player, Christian Atsu’s Turkish club have have rasied an alarm that they cannot find him at the hospital he was reportedly been taken to.
Atsu, who plays for Hatayspor, was understood to have been rescued from a destroyed building on Monday following a 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
The club’s vice president Mustafa Ozat had initially confirmed that Atsu was taken out of the rubble with injuries. But according to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, there are now fears the footballer was not among those found in the rubble.
Hatayspor’s club doctor Gurbey Kahveci said: ‘When we heard the news that “he was taken to Dortyol Hospital”, we especially went and looked, but he was not there.
‘At the moment we accept that Savut Taner [sporting director] and Christian Atsu were not found, unfortunately.’
The devastating event has seen the death toll hit 11,000, making it the deadliest earthquake for a decade.
Atsu’s agent Nana Sechere also revealed that the player’s location is unknown, tweeting on Wednesday morning: ‘Following yesterday’s update from the club that, Christian had been pulled out alive, we are yet to confirm Christian’s whereabouts.
‘As you can imagine, this continues to be a devastating time for his family and we are doing everything we can to locate Christian.’
It comes after Atsu’s team-mate Kerim Alici, a close friend, had confirmed on Turkish TV that the player had been rescued alive, which has prompted further confusion over whether the player has been found.
Atsu’s agent Sechere, who is in London and not in Turkey with the player, has also revealed that the 31-year-old had plunged from the ninth floor of his apartment building when the devastating earthquake hit.
He explained that 20 minutes after returning home from a poker night with teammates, Atsu was sent plunging to the ground.
‘The last I heard from him was at midnight on Sunday. Christian and his team-mates were playing poker until 3:30am at a friend’s apartment,’ Sechere told the Mirror.
‘The journey back to his apartment was around half an hour. He returned at 4am and the earthquake started around 20 minutes later. I didn’t know anything until I received a call from a club official at 5am asking if I’d heard from Christian.