Chelsea striker Adrian Mutu believes he will not be sacked over his failed drugs test - but accepts he will probably have to leave Stamford Bridge.
Mutu tested positive for a banned substance - which he now denies was cocaine - and is facing a possible ban.
"I am almost certain Chelsea will not pay me during any suspension period I might get. But they will not sack me," the 25-year-old is quoted as saying.
"(But) most probably I'll have to go back and play in Italy again."
On Tuesday, English players' union chief Gordon Taylor said Mutu had admitted testing positive for cocaine.
But on Thursday the player told Romanian television: "I didn't take cocaine. I took something to make me feel good."
The Daily Mirror then quoted him as saying: "I am not hooked on drugs. I categorically deny this. The only reason I took what I took was that I wanted to improve my sexual performance. It may be funny but it is true."
Mutu also revealed that he had a furious confrontation with manager Jose Mourinho last week, which is unlikely to increase his chances of remaining at Chelsea.
The striker has been offered a lifeline by Ukraine club Shakhtar Donetsk, whose manager Mircea Lucescu is a fellow Romanian.
"I have to admit that in the heat of our confrontation I did actually threaten Mourinho about what would happen if he ever went to Romania," said Mutu.
"In a moment of total madness, I almost hit him, too. But now I am calmer and I must say I have nothing against the coach."
Mutu also told Romanian newspaper Pro Sport that he was unhappy with the way the matter has been handled.
"Things about my situation were greatly exaggerated," Mutu told Pro Sport.
"What has happened to me has shown me who my real friends are."
Both the FA and Chelsea have refused to comment on the case.
Mutu is unlikely to learn his fate from the FA for at least another two weeks.
But his agent Gica Popescu revealed on Thursday the player would
organise a news conference next week.