Guingamp forward Nathael Julan dies aged 23

nathael julan - cropped
The French club announced on Friday that the striker, who had been on loan at Valenciennes, has passed away

Guingamp forward Nathael Julan has died at the age of 23, the Ligue 2 club announced on Friday.

According to local reports, the player was involved in a car accident on the road to Pordic, near the town of Saint-Brieuc.

Julen has been confirmed as the driver of the vehicle and firefighters were called to the scene at 4:20 p.m., but no further details have been released.

Guingamp confirmed the news via a statement, saying: "The club had the immense pain of learning this afternoon of the accidental death of their player Nathael Julan.

"On this tragic day, all the members of the club join together to send their condolences to Nathael's family."

Guingamp have cancelled a friendly with Concarneau on Saturday following the news.

Julan began his career with Le Havre, where he spent his first four years as a professional footballer before joining Guingamp in 2018.

After scoring 23 goals in 52 appearances for Le Havre's second team, the forward made the leap to the senior squad, scoring seven goals in 38 matches to earn a move to Guingamp.

He made 10 appearances for the club in Ligue 1 in 2018-19 and a further three in cup competitions before joining Valenciennes on loan for the rest of the season. He scored twice in 13 league appearances for Olivier Guegan's side.

Julan then played in the 3-3 Ligue 2 draw with Grenoble in July, Guingamp's first competitive game after being relegated to France's second tier.

The Frenchman also appeared in a Coupe de la Ligue first-round defeat to US Orleans at the start of the season, and in a 3-0 defeat to Lorient in the Coupe de France on November 16.

Guingamp, who currently sit in eighth in Ligue 2, are set to return to league action at home against Lens on January 11 in their first match since the striker's death.