Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt has been offered a professional contract by Australian club Central Coast Mariners, his agent has reportedly told ESPN.
Bolt, 32, has been on trial at the A-League club since August and scored his first goals for the side in a pre-season friendly last week. The new A-League season got underway this weekend, although Bolt was not involved as the contract situation had not been resolved.
However, Bolt's agent Ricky Simms has said his client has now been offered terms. "I can confirm Usain has been offered a contract by Central Coast Mariners," he told ESPN.
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Bolt last week turned down a two-year contract by Maltese champions Valletta FC, who are 70 per cent owned by UAE-based investment company Sanban Group.
Mariners were in talks with governing body Football Federation Australia (FFA) to decide whether it will contribute to a potential Aus$3 million (Dh7.85m) offer to Bolt.
FFA head David Gallop insisted that any financial support from the governing body would not be drawn from a marquee fund set up to attract top players to the A-League.
"The ball is very much in the Mariners court. They have to make a decision whether they want to move to put Usain onto a contract," Gallop told Macquarie Sports Radio.
"If they get to that point [of signing Bolt] then we'll look at what's feasible for us but it can't be from the marquee player fund .... we can't use that money but we'll look at if we can do anything else."