The agent of Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu says he has still not been found nine days after he was trapped in the Türkiye earthquake, despite earlier reports he was alive and safe.

Agent Nana Sechere posted a statement on social media late on Tuesday providing an update on his client’s whereabouts.

“It has been nine days since the earthquake and we still have not located Christian,” he said in the statement.

“I am at the quake site in Hatay with Christian’s family. The scenes are unimaginable and our hearts are broken for all the people affected.

“During my time here we have been able to locate Christian Atsu’s exact room location, and we have found two pairs of his shoes.

“Yesterday we received confirmation that thermal imagery was showing signs of up to five lives, however, I am told that the only real confirmation of life is through sight, smell and sound, and unfortunately we were not able locate Christian.”

Hatay province is in southern Türkiye, near the border with Syria. Hatayspor plays in the top tier of Turkish football, the Süper Lig.

Atsu, 31, played in the English Premier League for Newcastle United and Everton, on loan from Chelsea, and joined Hatayspor in September.

Footballer Christian Atsu points his fingers and looks up to the sky in celebration after a goal as he walks with a teammate.
Hatayspor footballer Christian Atsu (left) is still missing after the Türkiye earthquake along with club sporting director Taner Savut. (Getty Images: Anadolu Agency/Cem Genco)

He was last selected to play for Ghana in 2019, but has not officially retired from international football.

He was reported missing after the devastating tremor that hit Türkiye and Syria on February 6, which has now claimed more than 41,000 lives.

His club then said Atsu had been found and taken from the rubble alive.

“Christian Atsu was pulled out injured. Our sporting director Taner Savut is unfortunately still under the rubble,” club vice-president Mustafa Ozat told Radyo Gol last Tuesday.

But Sechere tweeted on February 9 that his client had not yet been found, before his latest update.

He thanked all the Turkish and foreign rescue teams for all their work in trying to find survivors of the quake, but said more resources, including translators, were urgently needed.

“Things are moving incredibly slow and as a result of that many rescues are being delayed, and lives are being lost due to the lack of resources available to the workers.

A view from a distance of a pile of rubble from a collapsed building, with earth movers and workers looking for survivors.
Search efforts continue at the collapsed building where footballer Christian Atsu and others lived in Hatay in southern Türkiye.(Getty Images: Anadolu Agency/Eren Bozkurt)

“It is unfortunate that the club is not on the ground with us, side by side, in the search for Christian.

“Their position and influence, accompanied with their local knowledge would be extremely helpful. We implore the President of the club and mayor of Hatay, Lütfü Savaş to provide additional resources to speed up the rescue efforts as a priority.”

The president of the Turkish Union of Clubs, Ali Koc, confirmed last Thursday that Hatayspor had sent a letter to the league saying it would not play for the remainder of the Süper Lig season.