The 31-year-old Ghana international, who currently plays for Hatayspor in the Turkish Super Lig, was reported missing after teammates and members of the club’s technical staff were pulled from the rubble.

On Monday night, several reports claimed that Atsu, who was reported missing along with Hatayspor sporting director Taner Savut, had been found alive, with Portuguese newspaper A Bola reporting that he had suffered “right leg injuries and breathing difficulties”. .

Those reports, however, remain unconfirmed by Hatayspor, with teammate Kerim Alichi also appearing to suggest in an Instagram story posted on Monday evening that the two remain in trouble.

Atsu was part of the Magpies side that returned to the Premier League in 2017 after a season-long loan move from Chelsea and later a permanent move.

A message on the club’s official Twitter account read: “Praying for positive news @ChristianAtsu20.”

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Atsu, who scored in stoppage time on Sunday to secure a 1-0 win over Kasimpasa, will leave St James’ Park in the summer of 2021 after making 121 appearances for the club.

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit southeastern Turkey and northern Syria in the early hours of Monday morning, followed by a second 7.5-magnitude earthquake.

About 1,700 people are known to have died in the border region, and rescuers are searching for survivors.

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