Bolt turns down 2-year deal with Champions League hopefuls
Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt has rejected a two-year deal from Maltese champions Valletta FC and will remain in Australia as he attempts to forge a professional football career, his agent has said.
Bolt has been on trial at Central Coast Mariners in New South Wales as he attempts to earn a contract at the A-League team, but had been offered a guaranteed deal from Valletta, who are bidding to break into the Champions League.
However, Bolt’s agent, Ricky Simms, told ESPN that the eight-time Olympic champion had turned down the move to Europe.
"There is a lot of interest in Usain playing football," Simms said. "We regularly receive similar approaches. I can confirm Usain does not wish to pursue this opportunity in Malta."
Responding to the snub, Valletta CEO Ghasston Slimen wished Bolt “all the best” with his career, adding that the offer “is always on the table.”
Bolt opened his goal-scoring account for the Mariners with a double in a recent friendly, although even if he continues to impress he will not be able to feature for the team in the A-League until January, when the next registration period opens.
The Mariners kick off their season against Brisbane Roar on Sunday.
Bolt, 32, hung up his track spikes in 2017, calling time on a glittering career that saw him break the world 100m and 200m records.
Before joining the Mariners, he trained with German giants Borussia Dortmund, as well as Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa and Stromsgodset in Norway.
Maltese champions Valletta FC have seen a cash injection from UAE investors, and are looking to break into the lucrative world of Champions League football.