What does Usain Bolt's football future look like?

The sprinter's time with Central Coast Mariners appears to be over.

Will Usain Bolt sign a professional football deal with Australia's Central Coast Mariners?

His agent, Ricky Simms, has told multiple media outlets that a contract offer has been made to the eight-time Olympic champion sprinter.

But while negotiations take place, Bolt has been excluded from training with the team, and reports say the two camps are unlikely to agree a deal.

'Much, much less'

The head of the A-League, Greg O'Rourke, told SEN Radio that the offer was "much, much less" than what Bolt and his agent were thought to have asked for.

"If Usain wants to join the club and become a footballer, he should follow a journey pretty similar to any triallist," O'Rourke said, "notwithstanding for a minute the amount of marketing that somebody like Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, can bring to the Central Coast and the broader A-League."

The league boss also said the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) would not help pay Bolt's contract.

"There's no funding from the marquee fund. Usain Bolt has yet to become a professional footballer anywhere in the world."

—Greg O'Rourke, Head of the A-League

Usain Bolt celebrates scoring for Central Coast Mariners in a trial game (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Usain Bolt celebrates scoring for Central Coast Mariners in a trial game (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)Usain Bolt celebrates scoring for Central Coast Mariners in a trial game (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Not in playing squad

Bolt, who still holds the men's 100m and 200m world records on the running track, was left out of the Mariners team in their opening league game of the season against Brisbane Roar.

Despite starting as a forward and scoring twice in a trial match against Macarthur South West, Bolt hasn't had much encouragement recently from Central Coast manager Mike Mulvey.

"You have a look at our front line today and you wonder whether he could get into any of those positions," Mulvey said after the match against Brisbane. "Wouldn't you?"

Perhaps Bolt needs to take the advice of Spain's World Cup-winning former manager Vicente del Bosque, who has told the Olympic Channel he would play the Jamaican at full-back.

"Distraction"

With discussions ongoing to resolve the financial disagreements between the Mariners and Bolt, the Jamaican has been left out of team training.

A Mariners statement said this would "ensure that there is no distraction to the A-League squad", and that the exclusion from training would last "until and if" the two sides can reach an agreement.

The statement adds the Bolt would not be part of the A-League first team should he accept a contract.

"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."

With the FFA refusing to subsidise the contract, the Mariners say "external partners" will have to step in to find a "commercial solution".

"Without the financial contribution of an external third-party, it is unlikely that Usain Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners will agree to terms."

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