Gold Coast United still working on Smeltz saga

Gold Coast United are still working hard to get striker Shane Smeltz back on the pitch without any legal worries.

The New Zealand international is back on the Gold Coast after turning his back on a two-year deal with Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng but faces a two-year FIFA ban if Shandong pursue the matter any further.

United owner Clive Palmer is trying to use his contacts in China, where he has his iron ore interests, to persuade Shandong to drop any potential case so Smeltz can return to playing in the A-League without any fuss.

“If the legal issues are removed from Shane there is a good chance he could play against the (North Queensland) Fury (in a pre-season match)," United coach Miron Bleiberg said.

“We're hoping things could become clear very soon. Clive Palmer has taken on the responsibility of handling it himself.

“Knowing Clive when he takes on a problem it is usually resolved, especially when you consider that he has some influence in China. He will handle it in the best way possible."