New Zealand striker Shane Smeltz will play his soccer in Europe after signing a two-year contract which sees him move from Gold Coast United to Turkish Super League club Genclerbirligi immediately.

Smeltz, who has scored 18 goals in 33 A internationals for New Zealand, including an early opener in a 1-1 draw with Italy at the World Cup in South Africa, arrived in Turkey a week ago and completed the deal after passing a medical.

Smeltz says he is excited by the new chapter in his career.

"I'm very proud and honoured to be at this club. It's a fantastic club with a fantastic set-up and I can't wait to get started with the team," said Smeltz, who has been the subject of much transfer speculation during the past two seasons, including being linked to a move to Turkey last season.

"I'm really happy to be here and I want to help this team produce the best football they can, and I think this club deserves to be doing well in this league."

Smeltz said he had consulted several players who had experience plying their trade in Turkey before making his decision.

The 28-year-old shot to prominence in the A-League during his two seasons with the Wellington Phoenix, claiming the A-League's golden boot and most valuable player awards before a successful season with Gold Coast, where he also won the golden boot with a record 19 goals last season.

Smeltz's transfer may yet face a legal challenge from Chinese club Shandong Luneng, who argue they signed a contract with Smeltz last month, although the International Transfer Certificate was never released by Gold Coast.

- NZPA