Usain Bolt turns down two-year contract with Valletta FC
Usain Bolt has turned down Valletta FC's two-year offer after deciding against a move to Malta.
The eight-time Olympic track gold medallist remains in Australia on trial for the Central Coast Mariners in the A-League but received an offer earlier in the week to play for Valletta FC and spearhead their Champions League aspirations.
But Bolt's agent has confirmed he opted against taking up their offer.
"There is a lot of interest in Usain playing football," Ricky Simms told ESPN. "We regularly receive similar approaches. I can confirm Usain does not wish to pursue this opportunity in Malta."
Valletta FC CEO and managing director Ghasston Slimen told ESPN: "We wish Usain Bolt all the best with his football career. The Valletta FC offer is always on the table."
Bolt's mission to win a professional football contract in Australia has dominated the A-League's preseason and continues ahead of the season's start on Friday.
Bolt will not be able to turn out for the Mariners when they open their season at Brisbane Roar on Sunday -- and most probably not until January, at the earliest.
Football Federation Australia has said it would not raid a special fund set up to lure marquee players to the league if the Mariners decide that Bolt, 32, is worth the risk, but it would likely be thrilled to have him in the league if only for his marketing value.
The league's next registration period does not open until Jan. 3, which could leave Bolt on the sideline for the first half of a season tipped to be one of the most open in years.
Central Coast CEO Shaun Mielekamp told ESPN that "it's too early to tell" whether Bolt, who is on a long-term trial, would earn a contract from the club.
Bolt scored twice in a trial match for Central Coast on Saturday, generating headlines around the world but failing to remove doubts about his chances of making the transition from track to football pitch.
However, Bolt's presence has given the region north of Sydney its time in the limelight, drawing thousands to warm-up games that would normally struggle to lure a few hundred spectators.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.