Milligan signs for Shanghai Shenhua

Fringe Australian defender Mark Milligan has left the Newcastle Jets to take up an offer with Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua.

The Olympic team skipper will leave for China on Monday to undergo a medical examination and if successful he will play in this year's AFC Champions League with his new club. Milligan, 23, played 11 games for the Jets this season after returning to the A-League last October following a series of trials with European clubs, Arsenal and Werder Bremen.

Work permit and visa issues prevented Milligan from finding a European club, but his desire to expand his game abroad remained. The Jets said they had accepted an undisclosed transfer fee for Milligan.

"The opportunity that was presented to us by Shanghai Shenhua was one that we could not turn down, and whilst it is unfortunate to see Mark depart, we also hope that he fulfills his dream of furthering his career abroad as he has wanted to do for some time," Jets chief executive John Tsatsimas said.

Milligan's exit continues the disintegration of last season's A-League champions, who finished last in this season's competition with just four wins and six draws from their 21 league games.