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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 October, 2004, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
Mutu offered Ukrainian lifeline
Romania and Chelsea striker Adrian Mutu
Shakhtar Donetsk have revealed an interest in signing Chelsea's shamed Romanian international Adrian Mutu.

Mutu tested positive for cocaine after a drug test but Shakhtar's boss Mircea Lucescu wants to help rescue the 25-year-old's career.

"I am shocked about what's happened to this big talent," Mutu's fellow Romanian told the Daily Record.

"We definitely want to sign Mutu for Shakhtar Donetsk but we must first wait until his situation becomes clear."

Shakhtar, from the Ukraine, beat Celtic 3-0 in the champions League on Wednesday.

And Lucescu added: "In December we will open the talks.

"Both myself and president Rinat Akhmetov want him because we think he can still do a lot of great things in football.

"He needs to regain his confidence and I really hope we can help him."

But, while Lucescu has sympathy with Mutu's plight, the president of the Romanian Football Association, Mircea Sandu, accused the captain of Romania's national team of letting his fame go to his head.

Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu
Lucescu has a reputation for salvaging playing careers

And he said: "Losing Mutu to suspension is a serious problem for the national team - but life has to move on."

And Mutu's international team-mate and Wolves striker, Ioan Ganea, believes the incident will prove a wake-up call for the star.

Ganea said: "Mutu should drink a dozen bottles of wine a night instead of taking drugs. It's a tragedy. He didn't take life seriously until this moment."

However, Romanian national team coach Anghel Iordanescu fears the spearhead of his side will be hit with a lengthy ban which will seriously damage the country's World Cup 2006 hopes.

Iordanescu said: "This is a player I very much cared about and counted on.

"The national team is in a difficult situation right now and my plans have been jeopardised. I thought Mutu was the leader of my team.

"I don't believe it will be a short suspension because the international bodies are harsh on drugs.

"This is a big shock for Romanian football."






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