Adem Ljajic has had a rough time in his short career.

Dubiously overlooked by Manchester United in late 2009, he was recently attacked by his Fiorentina manager Delio Rossi after being substituted and has now been released by the Serbian national side... for refusing to sing the country's anthem.

Ljajic, a Muslim, was tightlipped over being expelled from the squad by coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who is presiding over his first matches as the White Eagles' new manager.

On his return from the national squad the 20-year-old was mobbed by journalists at Switzerland airport and said: “I’m sorry… I love Serbia, but I have to respect my beliefs. I’ve always wanted to play for this country… The coach asked me to sing the national anthem, but if you do not respect yourself, no one can respect you.”

Serbia lost 2-0 to Spain at the weekend and face France on Thursday before rounding off their summer matches in Sweden on 5 June. They failed to qualify for this summer's European Championship.

Mihajlovic was Ljajic's coach when he was Viola coach for 17 months between 2010-11.