18 Jul 2010

Smeltz returns to Australia

5:50 am on 18 July 2010

The New Zealand footballer, Shane Smeltz, has reportedly arrived back in Australia, after quitting his new Chinese club just five days into a two-year contract.

The All Whites striker flew to China on Monday to take up his deal with the Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng, following his impressive World Cup campaign.

But the Gold Coast Bulletin News says Smeltz has decided that it would be impossible for his wife and two children to settle in Jinan, south of Beijing, and is set to rejoin his A-League club, Gold Coast United.

A Gold Coast United spokesperson says they hope to meet with Smeltz today.

The Bulletin News quotes a Football Federation Australia source as confirming that Smeltz's International Transfer Clearance form was never dispatched by United, so he's free to rejoin them without any problems.