Djite brought in to replace Smeltz

On his way ... Djite will be playing for Gold Coast United this season (Getty)

Gold Coast United moved swiftly to cover the imminent departure of star striker Shane Smeltz to Genclerbirligi, signing Socceroos forward Bruce Djite as his replacement.

No details have been released but The World Game can confirm a deal has been done and that Djite will exit Genclerbirligi and return to the A-League.

The 23-year-old failed to reach any great heights since leaving Adelaide United for Turkey two years ago but did receive offers from a variety of clubs in Europe and interest from his former club and Sydney FC.

While a stoush may loom over Smeltz, Gold Coast is resigned to losing the Kiwi international one way or another, vice-captain Michael Thwaite said.

United's preparation for Sunday's home clash with Melbourne Victory has been overshadowed by news that Smeltz faces a sanction of more than $1 million or a six-month ban from the game after the Chinese club he walked out on pursues him via world body FIFA.

Smeltz has left the tourist strip hoping to secure a transfer with Turkish Super League club Genclerbirligi.

But FIFA is expected to rule shortly on the complaint made by Chinese club Shandong Luneng following the two-time Golden Boot winner's decision to leave just days after signing a contract with it in July.

If United was disrupted by the Smeltz drama ahead of the clash with the winless 2009-2010 grand finalist Melbourne at Skilled Park, it was hard to tell.

Thwaite said United believed Smeltz was on borrowed time in the A-League anyway following his recent heroics for New Zealand.

"After the World Cup he had a lot of interest with a number of different clubs," Thwaite told AAP.

"We kind of prepared for life without him. That has been our mindset ever since the World Cup - so we know what to do."

On the reported action by Shandong Luneng, Thwaite added: "I can't comment on their situation - the only thing I can say is that we wish him the best in his negotiations with his Turkish club."

Certainly United has more pressing issues than Smeltz's 'will he, won't he' saga - it lines up against a Victory side desperate to silence the early nay-sayers following a quiet season start.

In contrast, United is still buzzing from its come from behind 3-3 draw in a wet Wellington following a frustrating 0-0 result against arch-rival Brisbane Roar.

"Playing against a team like Melbourne Victory you can't be thinking about the loss of Shane otherwise they are going to punish you," Thwaite said.

"We have really focused on not giving them time and space in the midfield - that's where they have done the damage in previous seasons."

But Thwaite wouldn't bite when asked if the Victory was in a slump.

"I think it is too early to read into anything for both teams," he said.

"We have had an outstanding result against Wellington after last year being pumped 6-0 by them - we have got confidence from that.

"But they (Victory) have some attacking weapons and we need to respect that - we are wary of them."

With the loss of Smeltz - expected to be replaced by Socceroos marksman Bruce Djite - and a question mark over Joel Porter (hamstring), United coach Miron Bleiberg has challenged the likes of youngsters Tahj Minniecon, James Brown, Golgol Mebrahtu and Andrew Barisic to step up.

If they do, few will witness it - United's controversial 5,000 crowd cap kicks in again on Sunday.