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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 January, 2005, 17:16 GMT
Juventus admit Mutu deal on hold
Adrian Mutu
Juventus say Adrian Mutu's move to the club has not yet been completed.

The ex-Chelsea player is serving a seven-month worldwide ban after testing positive for cocaine, and was due to be unveiled by Juve on Wednesday.

But that had to be delayed because Juventus are "awaiting the arrival of Mutu's transfer from the Football Association," said a club statement.

Since his dismissal for misconduct Mutu has been undergoing a drug education and rehabilitation programme.

With Juventus already having the maximum number of non-European players allowed in their squad, under the rules by the Italian football league, the player could not sign for the Turin outfit because he was coming from abroad.

He is a player we had been following ever since he played at Verona
Juve director general Luciano Moggi

However, Juve can still recruit a non-European player from a Serie A club and that's where promoted club Livorno come into the picture.

It has emerged that Livorno had bought the player's sporting rights on behalf of Juve and later agreed a deal with the Bianconeri club.

Juve general director Luciano Moggi admitted that the 26-year-old was a player they had been interested in signing for many years.

"He is a player that we had been following ever since he played at Verona," he said.

"It was impossible to sign him at the time as Juve are always very careful to how they go about their business.

"Now that we have the opportunity to acquire him we have jumped at the opportunity because Mutu belongs in the category of champions."

Mutu could return to action at a crucial time for Juve as they will still have two matches to play in Serie A.

Fabio Capello's team could also still be involved in the Champions League with the final being played on 25 May.

Chelsea signed Mutu from Parma for 15.8m in August 2003, the Romania international making an instant impact by scoring in his first three games.

But his fortunes deteriorated, with a loss of form that saw him go 19 games without scoring, the collapse of his marriage and a sex scandal involving a Romanian porn star.

On 19 October 2004, the Professional Footballers' Association revealed Mutu had failed a drugs test and he was sacked soon after by Chelsea, with the Football Association subsequently suspending the player for seven months.



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