CHRISTIAN Atsu’s agent has flown to Turkey to find out what’s happened to the player, who was buried in the rubble of the earthquake.
Mystery surrounds the fate of the ex-Newcastle and Chelsea player, 31, amid reports he was pulled from the wreckage of his apartment but couldn’t be found in hospital.
Atsu was found alive in the wreckage after plunging from the ninth floor of the apartment building in Kahramanmaras, his agent initially said.
And a spokesman for his club Hayatspor said on Tuesday the winger had been rushed to hospital with unspecified injuries after a miracle rescue.
But Atsu’s agent Nana Sechere has revealed the star’s whereabouts remain unknown and he’s now travelled to Turkey.
“I am currently in Istanbul. The situation remains the same, Christian Atsu is yet to be found,” he tweeted.
“Unless I see Christian, or speak with him, I have no further updates.”
Earlier he said “we are yet to confirm Christian’s whereabouts” amid what was a “devastating time for his family and we are doing everything we can to locate Christian”.
Hayatspor’s doctor has said that efforts to locate the Ghana ace and club sporting director Taner Savut in hospital had proved fruitless – leading to fears he may still be in danger.
“When we heard the news about Taner Savut and Christian Atsu that they were taken to the Dortyol Hospital, we went to the hospital and they were not there,” said Gurbey Kahveci, according to Hurriyet.
He added that at present “unfortunately Taner and Christian Atsu” are being regarded as “not found”.
To add to the confusion, the doctor’s comments come despite Ghana’s ambassador to Turkey saying she had told by officials the player had been found.
The massive 7.8 magnitude quake stuck early on Monday with such force that it moved the country 10ft.
The death toll has now passed the threshold of 17,000 as an expert warned that statistically, today is the day when rescue workers stop finding people alive.
Two further earthquakes struck in the 24 hours after the initial tremor, leaving a trail of destruction stretching for hundreds of miles along Turkey’s border with Syria.
Video showed rescuers with search lights sifting through the wreckage of Atsu’s apartment block during on Monday night.
His voice was then heard in the rubble, along with that of Hatayspor’s Sporting Director Taner Savut, local media reported.
Sechere said he last heard from Atsu at midnight on Sunday, shortly before the quake struck at around 4.20am.
“Christian and his team-mates were playing poker until 3.30am at a friend’s apartment,” he 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 was hoping he was awake and that the earthquake hadn’t happened while he was sleeping. He was in an 11-storey building and he was on the ninth floor.”
The London-based agent said he received a call from a club official at 5am asking if he’d heard from the player.
“He told me Christian’s building had been completely destroyed and that they couldn’t get hold of him,” he said.
“The club officials were trying to help me find him but it was so hard because, understandably, they were trying to find their own friends and families as well.”
Eventually he received confirmation from the club that Atsu was safe at 6am on Tuesday morning.
“They told me that he was in hospital and that he is stable,” he said.
Following Sechere’s initial comments, Ambassador Francisca Ashietey-Odunton told Ghana TV that the “ministry of foreign affairs here assured me that he has been found”.
Just hours before the quake struck, Atsu scored deep into stoppage time on Saturday to secure a 1-0 win over Kasimpasa.
“Important win for the team. Happy to be on the scoresheet,” he tweeted.
Footage showed Atsu being mobbed by his teammates as ecstatic fans celebrated the win, along with messages praying for him to be found.
Big-hearted Sun readers have so far raised £500,000 in response to the devastation.
All money from the Sun Earthquake Appeal will be donated to the British Red Cross for a major on-the-ground mobilisation.
Atsu joined Chelsea from Porto for £3.5million in 2013 but didn’t make a single appearance for the Premier League giants.
He also took in loans at Vitesse, Everton, Bournemouth, Malaga and Newcastle.
And the Magpies made his deal permanent in 2017 after Atsu played a key role in their promotion from the Championship.