Romanian international Adrian Mutu has been unveiled as Pune City FC’s marquee signing for the second season of the Indian Super League. According to The Times of India, Mutu has signed a two-year contract with the franchise and will be earning 5,00,000 Euros per season.
The controversial striker was expected to feature for the franchise in the inaugural edition as well but visa issues delayed the move, before FIFA turned down the application as it was filed after the closure of the transfer window.
The much-travelled footballer has featured for some of the biggest clubs in world football with likes of Chelsea, Juventus and Inter Milan topping the list, but it was at Fiorentina that he reached the pinnacle of his club career, scoring 54 goals in 112 appearances for the Viola.
The 36-year-old has been voted Romanian Footballer of the Year four times and has scored a national record-equalling 35 goals in 77 matches for the European nation.
Pune City are looking to bolster their squad after a disappointing sixth point finish in the ISL debut season. Costa Rican striker Yendrick Ruiz became the club’s first overseas signing and was followed by the arrivals of former Premier League players Nicky Shorey and Steve Simonsen.
Mutu – Talented, but highly controversial
The arrival of a high-profile footballer like Mutu will be welcomed by the Pune Fans though they will be hopeful that he makes the headlines with his boots rather than the numerous controversies that has plagued his career.
Chelsea terminated the Romanian’s contract after he was tested positive for cocaine while he was handed a six-month ban by Fiorentina in 2010 for failing a dope test.
Much of Pune City’s troubles last season resulted from a lack of goals up front as David Trezeguet failed to do the job. Their fans will be hoping that his former teammate at Juventus can sort the issue out while keeping his off-field behaviour in check.
On signing for FC Pune City, Mutu spoke to the press via Skype saying, “It's a new experience to join FC Pune City and it's a privilege to be in your country. Mine and FC Pune City’s goal is to do the best than before and bring the trophy home.”
“I think what you're doing with the Indian Super League is the best thing you could do to develop football in your country. I am sure in the coming years, Indian Super League is going to grow bigger and bigger,” the 36-year-old added.
FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel also announced that the team would be travelling to Turkey for their pre-season.