A-League goalkeeper of the year Mark Birighitti has left the Central Coast Mariners to join Scottish Premiership club Dundee United.

Birighitti – who made is first and only Socceroos appearance nine years ago – has been sold by the Mariners for an undisclosed, six-figure fee.

The 31-year-old Perth-born gloveman – who has also played for Adelaide United, Newcastle Jets, Melbourne City, Varese (Italy) and NAC Breda (Netherlands), and was on the books of current English Championship club Swansea City – was grateful to the Mariners for agreeing to sell him.

“This opportunity is too good for me to pass up, both for my career and for my wife to be closer to her family in the UK,” said Birighitti, who made 79 A-League appearances in his three seasons with Central Coast.

“The club tried everything to convince me to stay … (but) I have insisted the club accept this deal to let me chase my dreams and do the best thing for my family.

“I’d like to thank the club and the fans for everything as they have been nothing short of amazing.

“If I end up back in Australia at any point, I won’t play for any other A-League club.

“This is my home, but at this time, I need to take this opportunity and see where it takes me.”

Via a club statement, the Mariners – who also recently lost Socceroos defender Kye Rowles to Scottish club Hearts – said they were “disappointed” but the decision to sell their goalkeeper was made “in the interest of Birighitti and his family”.

Dundee United chased Birighitti’s services after losing Swiss custodian Benjamin Siegrist to Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic.

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