It will take a brave club to save the career of Adrian Mutu now. Just when it seemed like everything had settled down for the Fiorentina striker, yet another high-profile incident has plunged his future into doubt. That future will certainly not be in Florence after his behaviour this week, and any club in a major European league will be taking an enormous risk should they offer him reprieve.
News broke earlier in the week that Mutu stormed out of training without explanation and without permission, and Fiorentina have immediately confirmed their intention to sue him – the Romanian must be becoming more accustomed to courtrooms than football pitches.
Even more bizarre is the reason behind his show of negligence. He had reportedly found out Fiorentina wanted to keep him rather than accept a bid from Cesena, so he took it upon himself to leave his club’s training ground.
“Such an act of insubordination and lack of respect towards the Fiorentina jersey and the team was only the latest in a series of similar incidents by the player Mutu,” read an immediately publicised club statement.
Cesena may be questioned themselves for taking a chance on such a character, but Mutu’s quality on the pitch is clear. In his few appearances for Fiorentina since returning from his ban he has demonstrated what he could have offered. And yet, the ugly side of Mutu’s unpredictable personality reared its head as he walked out on the club that supported him in his time of need.
The strangest thing about this latest episode in Mutu’s career is that it was because Fiorentina wanted to keep him, not because they wanted to sell him. It has been claimed Cesena approached Mutu while he was banned, suggesting if his Fiorentina career was over there was a home for him in Emilia-Romagna.
However, Fiorentina’s keenness to reintegrate Mutu into their squad scuppered Cesena’s bold plan. Nevertheless, they made an offer to the Viola which wasn’t deemed good enough to buy the player. When Mutu found out a deal had not been agreed, it seems his rage began.
Quite why Mutu was angry about Fiorentina’s faith in him remains a mystery. Surely the club represent a better proposition than a move to Cesena who may be in Serie B next season. For whatever reason, it seems the former Chelsea drugs cheat will have to find another club due to his show of petulance.
In scenes uncomfortably similar to the recent Antonio Cassano and Sampdoria saga, it seems Mutu’s contract will be decided in court. His next destination is unclear, although it seems definite Fiorentina have washed their hands of the player that has caused them so many problems since he joined from Juventus.
A theory being bandied around suggests Mutu purposely caused this scenario in order to get a free exit from Fiorentina, rather than having to go through the complications of a transfer. His agent has already claimed before the incident “Fiorentina had given us the all-clear to seek another team, but not one in Italy.” Conspiracy theorists may say Mutu intended to get sued by Fiorentina in order to be freed to join the club of his choice.
For this theory to be true, one would have to assume Mutu had been contacted by other clubs that seem more attractive to him than his current employers. The 30-year-old isn’t renowned for his loyalty, but such talk of a move to a higher-profile club is premature.
Wherever he ends up, the club know they are getting a player who can win them games with moments of sublime skill, but could also destroy their season with moments of pure idiocy. We may have seen the end of Mutu in Serie A, but as we have already seen with Cassano going to Milan, Italian presidents can be forgiving when they see a freebie on an otherwise overpriced transfer market.