Hutchinson, who put in a strong shift in Saturday night's 1-0 win against Celtic at ANZ Stadium, will link up with former Mariners boss Lawrie McKinna in China.

The 31-year-old Maltese international, who has spent his entire club career in Australia, has been granted permission by the Mariners to join the Blades, who also have Australians Adam Kwasnik and Brendon Santalab on their books.

Chengdu are currently 12th in China's Super League and are without a win in their past six matches.

Hutchinson will return to Central Coast shortly after the commencement of the 2011/12 Hyundai A-League season.