Wednesday, 8 February 2023, 16:42
Confusion continues to reign over the condition of former Malaga, Chelsea and Newcastle winger Christian Atsu.
It would appear that the 31-year-old Ghanaian is still missing, despite reports on Tuesday that he had been found alive in the aftermath of Monday's devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake which has claimed the lives of more than ten thousand people in southern Turkey and northern Syria.
After various contradictory media reports, Nana Sechere - the agent of the 31-year-old Ghanaian - had confirmed on Tuesday: "He has been found and he is alive." However, that now appears not to be the case.
Volkan Demirel, coach of Hatayspor, Atsu's current team, said on Wednesday: "There's still no news about Atsu and [sporting director] Taner Savut."
The club doctor, Gurbey Kahveci, later elaborated, explaining that it appears that there may have been a case of mistaken identity: "When we heard the news that he had been taken to Dortyol Hospital, we went to look for him but he wasn't there. At the moment, sadly it seems that Taner Savut and Christian Atsu have not been found yet."
Atsu is one of many victims that the emergency services have been looking for under the rubble of collapsed buildings in the city of Atakya, where his new club Hatayspor plays, close to the Syrian border.
Several of Atsu's teammates and directors at the club were caught up in the tragedy, which has claimed the life of his teammate, goalkeeper Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan.
"Our thoughts are with him and his family at this time of terrible anguish," said a statement from Malaga CF, the team he represented on loan in the second half of the 2015-16 season.
After an unsuccessful loan spell with English side Bournemouth in the first half of that season, Atsu arrived on the Costa del Sol from parent club Chelsea and scored two goals (one on his debut at La Rosaleda) in 12 appearances.
After that, the winger spent five seasons with Newcastle (helping them to Premier League promotion), before moving to Al Raed in Saudi Arabia and then, most recently, Hatayspor last summer.
Just hours before the earthquake, he scored the winning goal in the 97th minute for Hatayspor against Kasımpaşa.
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