Christian Atsu has died following the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey, his agent has said.
A post from agent Nana Sechere on Twitter announced that the former Newcastle midfielder’s body has been found 12 days on from the disaster in Turkey and Syria which has claimed more than 40,000 lives.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to announce to all well wishers that sadly Christian Atsu’s body was recovered this morning,” said Sechere in a post published on Saturday.
“My deepest condolences go to his family and loved ones. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support.
“I ask that whilst we make the necessary arrangements, that everyone would please respect the privacy of the family during this very difficult time.”
Ghana international Atsu, who was 31, had been playing for Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor.
He made 121 appearances for Newcastle and was part of the team which won promotion back to the Premier League in 2017 before leaving the club four years later.
In a message posted to Twitter, Newcastle said: “We are profoundly saddened to learn that Christian Atsu has tragically lost his life in Turkey’s devastating earthquakes.
“A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff and supporters. Rest in peace, Christian.”
Atsu also had loan spells at Everton and Bournemouth while contracted to Chelsea.
The Blues tweeted: “Everyone at Chelsea Football Club is devastated to learn of the tragic passing of our former player, Christian Atsu. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.”
Former Chelsea captain John Terry tweeted a picture of Atsu alongside the message: “RIP my friend.”
Atsu played 13 times for Everton during a season-long loan with the Merseyside club in 2014-2015.
“We are deeply saddened by today’s news that Christian Atsu has been found dead following the earthquake in Turkey earlier this month,” said the Goodison Park club on Twitter.
“Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues at @Hatayspor_FK and everyone affected by this tragic event that has claimed so many lives.”