Newcastle are anxiously awaiting news of former midfielder Christian Atsu amid reports that he has been trapped in the earthquakes which hit Turkey and Syria on Monday.
The 31-year-old Ghana international, now playing his football with Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor, was said to be missing after team-mates and members of the club’s technical staff had reportedly been pulled from rubble.
Several reports on Monday evening claimed Atsu, who was reportedly missing alongside Hatayspor sporting director Taner Savut, had been found alive, with Portuguese outlet A Bola saying he had suffered “injuries to his right foot and breathing difficulties”.
These reports, however, remain unconfirmed by Hatayspor, with team-mate Kerim Alici also seeming to suggest in an Instagram story posted on Monday night that the two remained in trouble.
Atsu was part of the Magpies 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.
A post on the club’s official Twitter account said: “Praying for some positive news, @ChristianAtsu20.”
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.
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.
Around 1700 people are known to have died in the border region with rescue teams searching for survivors.