Smeltz to leave United

Gold Coast United striker Shane Smeltz is set to secure a transfer to Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng.

Gold Coast United striker Shane Smeltz is set to secure a transfer to Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng.

After a superb season for United followed up by an impressive World Cup campaign with New Zealand that included a goal against defending world champions Italy, Smeltz was always going to be the desire of off-shore clubs.

Smeltz says the lure of the Chinese club was the possibility of new challenges.

"I am looking forward to the new challenge at this stage in my career, but I am also sad to leave and will be watching out for Gold Coast-s results; they will always be a club that is close to me," he said.

"Gold Coast United is a special club in a special part of Australia and I am leaving with some great memories from last season. The players are fantastic and will continue to prove that they are a force to be reckoned with in the Hyundai A-League."

"I would like to reserve a special thank you for Clive Palmer and Miron Bleiberg. They brought me to the club and gave me all the support I needed to be the best I could be on the pitch."

United coach Miron Bleiberg is keen to find cover for his departing striker, but will weigh up his options over time, with his side's A-League campaign commencing on August 8.

"We wish Shane all the luck in the world with this move to China and although we are keen to bring in a replacement, we will not be making any hasty decisions," Bleiberg said.

"Shane did a great job for us, but this transfer was not entirely unexpected and now we have to move on with our preparation for the new season."