Brazilian club releases Adriano after 4 matches

SAO PAULO (AP) Brazilian club Atletico Paranaense says it will not keep Adriano in the squad, dealing a blow to the striker’s attempt to return to top form and play in the World Cup this year.

Atletico Paranaense said in a statement late Friday that Adriano was released after only four matches ”in mutual agreement with the player,” but local media said it was prompted by the striker’s absence from two practice sessions this week.

The 32-year-old Adriano had signed a productivity contract with Atletico which allowed the club to release him at any moment if he failed to fulfill his professional duties.

The striker arrived in December after nearly two years without playing an official match. He scored his only goal Wednesday in the Copa Libertadores.