The eight-time Olympic gold medalist has been offered a professional deal by the A-League side
Usain Bolt is ‘unlikely’ to sign a contract with Central Coast Mariners ‘without financial contribution of an external third party’, the Australian club have announced.
The Jamaican icon has been offered a professional football contract with the A-League side, having impressed on a trial.
The 32-year-old former sprinter, winner of eight Olympic gold medals, joined the club on a ‘indefinite trial’ over the summer and recently scored his first two goals in a friendly.
It appears Bolt, a Manchester United fan who has dreamed of becoming a professional footballer, has won a few admirers with his performances, with recent reports claiming a Champions League-chasing club were interested in his services.
It appears he has impressed Central Coast Mariners chiefs enough for them to offer him a deal, too.
However, the Aussie club have conceded it is unlikely they will agree terms without financial help.
In a statement posted on the club’s official website, the Mariners said: “The Central Coast Mariners and Usain Bolt’s representative Ricky Simms have progressed contract discussions and would like to offer clarity around the negotiations between the club and Usain Bolt.
“The club can confirm that a contract proposal has been offered by the Central Coast Mariners and negotiations remain ongoing with Usain Bolt and his management regarding his football future.
“Both parties are eager to explore all options and ensure that if there is a suitable way forward for both player and club, the two parties will keep working together and formalise an agreement.
“The Central Coast Mariners want to ensure that Usain Bolt is given every chance possible to fulfil his dream to become a professional football player.”
Bolt’s brace came earlier this month in a friendly against Macarthur South West, having joined the club in August for a training period.
“There are two main terms of discussion involved in this negotiation – football and commercial,” the Mariners added.
“Regarding the football terms of the negotiations, Usain has made great progression during his time on the Central Coast and we feel that he will improve further with more individual intensive training and competitive game time.
“We are looking at ways to do this as the club does not have the luxury to be able to do this in the Hyundai A-League.
“Regarding the commercial terms of the negotiations, Usain Bolt’s management and the Central Coast Mariners are in conversations with external partners to find a commercial solution that suits all parties.
“It is important to note that contract values speculated in the media are incorrect. Without the financial contribution of an external third party, it is unlikely that Usain Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners will agree to terms.
“To ensure that there is no distraction to the Hyundai A-League squad in preparing for this weekend’s match versus Melbourne City, Usain Bolt will not attend team training this week, until and if the club and Usain Bolt can agree to terms and formalise an arrangement.”