Mutu future at Fiorentina looks bleak

MILAN - Adrian Mutu's future at Fiorentina looks bleak after the striker deserted training on Wednesday and the Serie A strugglers threatened legal action against him.

The Romanian, who returned from a nine-month drugs ban in October when he was also involved in a fracas with a barman, looks to have pushed Fiorentina's patience too far and has been dropped from the squad to play Bologna on Thursday.

"Adrian Mutu today abandoned training without giving any justification," a club statement said.

"Such insubordination and lack of respect for the shirt and the team, the latest in a sequence of similar acts by Mutu, has forced Fiorentina to consider legal action."

Mutu, still battling a 17 million euro fine levied after being sacked by Chelsea in 2004 for testing positive for cocaine, now looks certain to be sold in the January transfer window.

Sampdoria took legal action against striker Antonio Cassano after he swore at the club president in October and after a three-month suspension, the Italy forward was sold to Serie A leaders AC Milan.

Mutu's possible departure would make it highly unlikely Fiorentina, a disappointing 15th in Serie A under coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, would allow their other main striker Alberto Gilardino to leave amid reports of interest from Juventus.