Chelsea bad boy Adrian Mutu on comeback trail as Dinamo Bucharest manager

The Romanian is back in the big time with a role at one of Romania’s biggest clubs.

Adrian Mutu Image Getty

To Chelsea fans, Adrian Mutu is probably best remembered for his exploits off the pitch rather than on it.

Among Roman Abramovich’s first big purchases at Stamford Bridge, the Blues paid Parma around £15.8m to land a striker who had previously lit up Serie A.

Things started well enough with Mutu scoring four goals in his first three matches, including a brace in a memorable 4-2 victory over Tottenham, but it went downhill fast from there.

Signed by Claudio Ranieri, the Romanian struggled for game-time under successor Jose Mourinho the following season with the pair clashing from the off.

Adrian Mutu and Nigel Quashie
Mutu's lowest point Getting owned by Nigel Quashie. Image Phil Cole/Getty Images

“I am in an open conflict with Mourinho who forbade me to go to my national team and said I was injured,” Mutu declared to The Sun at the time.

“It is not true – I have been in good condition for five days and he knew that.”

Frozen out of the first-team by the Special One, things went from bad to worse for Mutu after he failed a drugs text for cocaine, receiving a seven-month ban and £20,000 fine in the process.

Released by Chelsea, Mutu moved on to Juventus and later Fiorentina but the Blues were able to successfully argue the striker had committed a breach of contract without just cause.

The result of the lengthy legal proceedings was that Mutu was ordered to pay around €17m in damages to the billionaire backed club – a debt that may still hang over his head today.

Having spent the final few years of his career earning a nomadic football existence with Cesena, Ajaccio,Petrolul Ploiesti, Pune City and Asa Targu Mures, the 37-year-old Mutu is now back where it all began.

Adrian Mutu signs for Dinamo Bucharest.
Adrian Mutu Back in business at Dinamo. Image Dinamo Bucharest

“It’s an honour for me that Dinamo offered me the chance to debut in a role so important“ he said at his unveiling.

“I hope to repay this trust results you awaits all fans Dinamo.”

In two seasons as a player with Dinamo Bucharest, Mutu managed 22 goals in 33 games helping the club to the Romanian League title and earning a move to Inter Milan in the process.

Now a little older and hopefully wiser, the four-time Romanian footballer of the year will be hoping to help the Red Dogs of Dinamo kick on, having gone a decade without a league title.

Whether Mutu is the best role model for some of the players at the club remains to be seen.

Romania’s record goalscorer, Mutu also clashed with several national team manager’s during his time as a player.

Răzvan Lucescu had reservations about calling Mutu up in 2009 , because the attacker was revealed to have been consuming alcohol after a crucial World Cup qualifier.

Poor results ultimately forced Lucescu’s hand, with Romania somewhat lacking in top-quality striking options.

Mutu’s boozy ways did eventually see him banned from the national team altogether two years later though, after he was found alongside teammate and former West Brom stopper Gabriel Tamas, drinking in a bar while Romania played a friendly against San Marino.

Having served a three-game ban, worse was to come in 2013, when Mutu was banned once again for posting an image on Facebook of national team coach Victor Piţurcă mocked up to look like Mr. Bean.

Has Mutu changed his ways since? Chelsea supporters and Premier League fans alike may want to keep a close eye on Dinamo in the next few months to find out.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.