Former Newcastle midfielder Christian Atsu has been rescued from the rubble of a Turkish building which collapsed during the devastating earthquake in the country on Monday, according to the Ghana Football Association.
The 31-year-old Ghana international, now playing football with Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor, was unaccounted for alongside his club’s sporting director Taner Savut in the aftermath of the disaster.
There were conflicting reports about Atsu’s status on Monday evening, but Ghana’s national football governing body provided a positive update on social media on Tuesday morning.
A Ghana Football Association tweet read: “Update: We’ve received some positive news that Christian Atsu has been successfully rescued from the rubble of the collapsed building and is receiving treatment. Let’s continue to pray for Christian.”
There was no mention of Savut in the post, with Hatayspor also not providing any updates via their own social media channels.
Atsu joined Chelsea from Porto in 2013 on a five-year contract and spent most of the following four years on loan before agreeing a permanent deal with the Magpies in 2017.
One of those loan spells was at Everton, who responded to the good news on social media.
A tweet from the club’s account read: “We are relieved to hear @ChristianAtsu20 has been found and is recovering in hospital. Our thoughts continue to be with everyone affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.”
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit south-eastern Turkey and northern Syria during the early hours of Monday morning, followed by a second measuring 7.5.