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Bolt unlikely to agree to terms with Australian club

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Usain Bolt’s search for a professional contract may go on a bit longer.

According to the Central Coast Mariners, the Australian club he’s been training with, they have extended Bolt a contract, but conceded a deal is “unlikely” “without the financial contribution of an external third-party,”

Reports across Europe state that Bolt is looking for a $3 million contract from any team he signs with, and the Mariners appear unable to meet those demands. “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,” the club said in a statement. According to a report by the Guardian, the Australian football governing body has contributed $100,000 from its marketing fund for the contract, but would add no more than that.

Bolt scored twice in a friendly last week, and he’s been training with the club for the past few weeks, but the club announced that while talks are ongoing, Bolt will not travel with the team or attend training “to ensure that there is no distraction to the Hyundai A-League squad in preparing for this weekend’s match versus Melbourne City.”

The A-League side said in the statement that while Bolt is improving, the former sprinter requires further training to become a viable professional player. “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.”

However, the club’s head coach wasn’t so complimentary. “Do you think he’ll get in our front three? We’ve got a very good front third,” Mike Mulvey said. Central Coast sports former Leeds United, Fulham, and Aston Villa striker Ross McCormack up front, alongside 26-year-old Australian international Tommy Oar and 24-year-old Connor Pain who has one cap for the international side.

Bolt doesn’t exactly have a ton of time to improve his game, already at 32 years of age and with a full Olympic-medal-winning professional sprinting career on his legs.

A-League team do not seem keen on Usain Bolt

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Comments from Usain Bolt’s agent claimed that the Central Coast Mariners had offered the former sprinter a professional contract to play in the A-League.

However the Mariners’ manager has pretty much quashed the idea of Bolt signing permanently, while the club have refused to comment and the Australian federation believe there is an offer on the table.

Yep. This is a bit of a mess.

Bolt, 32, has been on trial with the Mariners over the past few weeks and scored twice in his first start in a friendly 10 days ago.

But the head coach of the Mariners, Mike Mulvey, has said that any contract offer is news to him.

“I do appreciate how important this story is to the rest of the world. I do appreciate that,” Mulvey told reporters. “But you have a look at our front line today and you wonder whether he will get in any of those positions, wouldn’t you?”

Asked about where that leaves Bolt’s future, Mulvey issued a sharp response on the “speculation” and said he “didn’t know anything” about a contract offer.

With talk of Bolt being offered a deal to play in Malta on the back of this trial stint with the Mariners, it appears the Jamaican sprinting legend will now have to head elsewhere to fulfil his dream of being a professional player.

After training stints with Borussia Dortmund and Stromsgodset, which were basically publicity stunts, his time with the Mariners has been a serious attempt at earning a pro deal. The lifelong Manchester United fan wanted to switch sports and prove he could score goals as well as terrify defenses with his pace.

Where will he end up next? Will he stay in Australia? Is this the end of his soccer dream?

This is all getting a little bit confusing.

Agent says Usain Bolt has contract offer

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Usain Bolt’s agent claims that his client has received an A-League contract offer from Central Coast Mariners after spending more than two months on trial with the Australian club.

[ MORE: What did we learn in the Premier League, Week 9? ]

The eight-time Olympic goal medalist, who’s 32 years old after retiring from track and field last year, scored twice in a Mariners exhibition last week. Now, his agent says he’s been offered an official contract — quotes from the AP:

“In response to the media stories, yes, Usain has been offered a contract. I do not want to make any further comment at this stage.”

Mike Mulvey, the Mariners manager, not only claims to be unaware of any such offer, but sounds rather dubious and unenthusiastic about the prospects of Bolt being a first-team player.

“You have a look at our front line today and you wonder whether he could get into any of those positions, wouldn’t you? I do appreciate how important this story is for the rest of the world.

“You’re just talking about speculation, I don’t know anything about what you’re talking about and that’s the honest truth.”

“We’re going to go back, have some dinner, have a little look at the game that’s on … then get on a plane tomorrow, go home and start preparing for Melbourne City next week. That’s the plan.”

Bolt heading to Europe? Sprinter also hits out at drugs test

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Usain Bolt has been linked with a move to Europe after he scored twice for the Central Coast Mariners in a friendly in Australia on Friday.

The Jamaican sprinter, 32, has switched sports in recent months and his trial period with the A-League club has culminated in sub appearances and his first start for the Mariners last week.

A report from the Daily Telegraph in Australia suggested that Bolt has received “a formal two-year offer” to head to a team in southern Europe.

“The Daily Telegraph understands Bolt has been made a formal two-year offer to join a top-flight front-runner and even play in the team’s upcoming cup final. The club has recently been acquired by ambitious investors with aspirations of qualifying for the group stages of the European Champions League.”

Some are suggesting it is AC Milan, which would be quite a big step up from playing in Australia.

However, with his training stints with Borussia Dortmund and Stromsgodset he has shown a clear appetite to become a pro player. His dream is to play for Manchester United but that seems quite a long way off right now…

On the flip side, Bolt has also hit out on social media at being sent a notice for a drugs test following his first few games in Australia.

“So guys I’ve retired from track and field looking to become a footballer but look at this,” Bolt said as he held up a drugs test notice. “How am I going to get a drug test today? I’m not even a professional footballer yet. Seriously. So I asked the lady, ‘Why am I getting drug tested when I haven’t signed for a club yet?’ and she said they told her I’m an elite athlete so I have to get tested. Okay then.”

Usain Bolt scores two goals in first A-League trial start

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SYDNEY (AP) Usain Bolt scored twice in his first start for the Central Coast Mariners in an A-League trial match on Friday before being substituted with about 15 minutes remaining.

The retired eight-time Olympic gold medalist sprinter is trying to secure a place with the Mariners for this season, which begins for the Mariners on Oct. 21 against the Brisbane Roar.

“My first start and scoring two goals, it’s a good feeling,” Bolt told Fox Sports television. “I’m happy I could come here and show the world I’m improving. I’m keen to be a Mariner, and get into the team.”

Bolt said he hoped to sit down with the Central Coast coaching staff next week to discuss his future with the team.

Bolt was in the starting lineup against a second-tier National Premier League combined team representing Sydney’s southwest region.

Playing in a central striking role, Bolt struggled for touch early in the match but flourished after halftime.

He showed good strength to hold off a defender and race onto a through-ball before beating the goalkeeper at the near post with a strong left-foot shot in the 55th minute. In celebration, he gave his trademark Lightning Bolt to the crowd.

Just over 10 minutes later, he capitalized on a defensive mix-up to pick up a loose ball and tap in from a few meters out. Bolt had six shots overall before being substituted.

He left the game with the Mariners leading 4-0, which was the final score, and spent the remaining time on the sideline signing autographs for hundreds of fans at Campbelltown Stadium in western Sydney.

Bolt wore No. 95 on his jersey, in reference to his 100-meter world record of 9.58 seconds he set in Berlin in at the 2009 world championships.

The 32-year-old Bolt, who holds the 100- and 200-meter world records, saw his first action for the Mariners on Aug. 31, playing 20 minutes against a Central Coast invitational side.

He played the entire second half against the North Shore Mariners on Sept. 19, when he alternated between left wing and forward.

It’s Bolt’s first serious foray into football since retiring from athletics last year. He has trained with teams in Norway, South Africa and Jamaica, and had a much-publicized training stint with Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in March.