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Central Coast goalkeeper Mark Birighitti joins Dundee United with eyes on World Cup spot

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Goalkeeper Mark Birighitti has become the latest Australian footballer to head to the Scottish Premiership, signing with Dundee United for an undisclosed fee from Central Coast.

The 31-year-old has been with the Mariners since August 2019, establishing himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the A-League Men in that time.

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Given his standout performances, Birighitti has been unlucky to be overlooked for Australia squads, but will hope his move to Scotland can force him into Graham Arnold's plans heading into November's World Cup in Qatar.

In a brief statement, the Mariners said they had reluctantly agreed to the deal after Birighitti made it clear he wanted to move.

"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," Birighitti said.

"The club tried everything to convince me to stay and Monty [coach Nick Montgomery] and Serg [assistant coach Sergio Raimundo] couldn't have done any more for me personally or for my family.

"At the end of the day, I have insisted the club accept this deal, to let me chase my dreams and do the best thing for my family."

Birighitti joins several Australians already set for the upcoming Scottish Premiership season.

Ange Postecoglou is preparing to defend the title he won in his first season as Celtic head coach with Socceroos legend Harry Kewell having joined his backroom team and midfielder Aaron Mooy heavily linked with a move to Parkhead.

Meanwhile, Socceroos defender Kye Rowles has joined Nathaniel Atkinson and Cameron Devlin at Hearts, ex-Mariner Lewis Miller is at cross-town Edinburgh rivals Hibernian, Keanu Baccus has swapped Western Sydney for St Mirren, Dylan McGowan is at Kilmarnock and Phillip Cancar is at Livingstone.

The Scottish top flight kicks off on July 30 with Cancar's Livingstone hosting Glasgow giants Rangers.