A city trader shot in the leg by a masked gunman was having "money difficulties" when he was targeted at train station in Essex, according to reports.

Car enthusiast Robin Clark had reportedly run in to financial difficulties and was taking steps to improve his situation, ahead of being shot in the leg in a "targeted" attack, last week.

The revelations were made by Steve Hurn, a luxury car dealer, who Clark told of his plan to sell one of his fleet of high-spec vehicles.

Hurn said: "I spoke to him for about 10 minutes on Thursday about his Range Rover which he wanted me to sell. He wanted to get rid of it and said it was sitting on his drive.

"His great love is classic cars and particularly Porsches. But from what I understand Robin is having a few money difficulties. I think he used to have two Porsches but he had to sell them because he hasn't got any money," Hurn told the Daily Mail.

It was also claimed Clarke ran up business debts of more than £14,500 and was the subject of a County Court judgement, last year. The paper also reported Clarke put his multi-million house in leafy Ingatestone, in Essex, up for rent in a bid to get money.

Reports of city slicker Clark's problems with money are, for the most part, in stark contrast with how he presents himself on social media.

The 44-year-old father of four appears to revel in wealth and all its trappings, paid for by virtue of his punishing work schedule at the derivatives trader RP Martin.

Clark posted images on Twitter of himself partying with celebrities including BBC presenter Gary Lineker and former golfer Sam Torrence.

His passion for classic cars is obvious in numerous images, with him even contacting former Arsenal player Gervinho on Twitter to show off a photo of a classic Porsche and a modern version in his garage.

But a couple of tweets hinted that all might not have been well in the world of the man who seemingly had it all. He retweeted a comment about "financial ruin"; another of his tweet mentions staying optimistic in spite of difficulties.

Police officers investigating Clark's shooting believe he was deliberately targeted by the gunman at Shenfield station – which is an affluent area in the commuter belt. Other users of the station are not in danger, police said.

Detective Superintendent Gary Richardson said yesterday: "At this stage we believe the victim of this assault was deliberately targeted.

"We do not believe this incident was gang-related and I would like to reassure the public that there is no reason for any undue concern."

An RP Martin spokesman told the Brentwood Gazette: "We are aware of the incident and are giving Robin all the support we can. It would not be appropriate to comment any further at this stage."