Matthew Etherington has been forced to go to West Ham to help him with his gambling debts, it has been revealed.
The Daily Mail says Etherington has received death threats over his £800,000 gambling debts.
The 27-year-old was forced to ask the club for a loan after he was warned that his life would be in danger if he didn't pay off a substantial sum.
Worried bosses gave him a £300,000 wages advance to get him out of immediate danger.
But the Hammers told Etherington, who earns £30,000 a week, he must start counselling for his gambling addiction.
A source said: "Matthew has been a very worried young man. The club decided they had no choice but to help.
"They know how much courage it took him to come to them. It is not a conversation you want to have with your club.
"Matthew just wants to pay back the money and have this nightmare over."