Mutu on way out after dispute with Mourinho

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The Independent Online

Adrian Mutu looks set to leave Chelsea in the next transfer window in January after his fractious relationship with his manager Jose Mourinho reached a new low.

Adrian Mutu looks set to leave Chelsea in the next transfer window in January after his fractious relationship with his manager Jose Mourinho reached a new low.

The Romania striker failed to show up for training on Tuesday and was believed to have been absent again yesterday after reports of a row with Mourinho when Mutu returned from international duty on Monday.

Mutu has now contacted Chelsea, whose club spokeswoman said: "Adrian Mutu provided a perfectly valid reason for his absence and the club is entirely comfortable with the situation."

But that is hardly likely to smooth things over with Mourinho, who was furious with Mutu for defying his wishes by playing for Romania in their 1-0 defeat to the Czech Republic on Saturday when there were fears the player was still carrying knee and thigh injuries.

After the match, Mutu told reporters that the pair are at loggerheads, although he has subsequently issued a public apology for openly criticising the Chelsea manager.

Mutu, who started his Chelsea career with six goals in 10 games after his £15.8m move from Parma last season but then tailed off with just four more in the remainder of 2003-04, is likely to be put on the transfer list.

This is not the first time the 25-year-old has displayed erratic behaviour. He pledged his commitment to Chelsea at the start of the season but within weeks was attempting to orchestrate a loan move to Juventus. Last month he was allegedly involved in a car chase through the streets of Bucharest after refusing to hand over his driving licence to police.

Mutu is said to have told friends he is being persecuted because of his determination to represent his country but his inconsistent club form does not sit comfortably with Mourinho, who now has only one fully-fit senior striker available - Eidur Gudjohnsen - for this Saturday's Premership game at Manchester City.

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