Chinese midfielder Li Tie, released by Everton after a series of injuries kept him out of the English Premier League club's first team for the past two years, is considering joining newly promoted Sheffield United. 'I have been in discussions with three Premiership teams, including Sheffield,' Li (pictured) said. 'I may well go there. They are interested and we are sorting out details at the moment. But nothing has been finalised yet. I think there will be a result by the end of June or early July,' he said, adding he was eager to stay in the top British league. United, nicknamed the Blades, already have close links with China where they own Second Division side Chengdu Blades. And the Yorkshire club had veteran China international Hao Haidong on their books last season. They were promoted outright as runners up to Reading in England's Championship this campaign. Li, 28, said he was not surprised to have been released by Everton . 'I knew my time with Everton was coming to an end,' Li said. 'We talked about it three months ago and [manager David] Moyes told me that he wouldn't renew my contract. But he said he would help me find new opportunities. My mission as an Everton player is over. Players are often released by clubs in the Premiership. It is nothing shameful.' Li's national teammate Sun Jihai of Manchester City said he was disappointed Everton had let his friend go. 'The injuries he picked up have affected his performance to some extent, but not too much,' Sun said. 'He's almost back to his best. Everton did not give him enough opportunity to show himself.' But Sun welcomed the news that Sheffield United were trying to sign Li. 'That would be a very good move for both Li and Sheffield,' Sun added. 'Considering Li's ability on the pitch and his popularity with the Chinese fans, it is exactly what Sheffield are looking for now. They are looking to increase their profile in China so I think this kind of move is very attractive for the top British clubs.' No Chinese player has ever transferred from one Premiership team to another. 'It will be great because he will be the first Chinese player to ever have done that, to make a successful move in the world's top league. It will really prove his ability as a player,' Sun said. Li was not the only Toffee to feel the axe swung by Moyes, who also released Scottish veteran striker Duncan Ferguson and Italian defender Matteo Ferrari. Everton finished 11th in the Premiership. Li joined Everton from Liaoning in 2002 on a one-year loan. He then signed a complicated three-year, GBP1 million ($14.4 million) deal, two-thirds of which was paid for by Kejian, the Chinese electronics giant that then sponsored the club. He played a key role in bringing China to their first World Cup finals in 2002 and later established himself as a hard-running first-team player for the Merseysiders. Li was forced out of action for 18 months when he broke a shin training with China in February 2004 and has not appeared in the Premiership since. He later had surgery to remove slivers of bone from his ankle region.