Bolt not A-League grade, say Mariners as deal talks stall

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Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt celebrates scoring a goal for A-League football club Central Coast Mariners in his first competitive start for the club against Macarthur South West United in Sydney on October 12, 2018. Photo credit: Daily nation.

SYDNEY

Australia’s Central Coast Mariners said negotiations with Usain Bolt were stalled over money Tuesday, also warning the sprint superstar he will not play in the A-League even if he signs with the club.

The eight-time Olympic champion has been on trial with the A-League side since arriving in August to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional footballer.

The 32-year-old’s quest has garnered worldwide attention, which intensified last week when he scored two goals in a pre-season friendly.

The Mariners said Bolt, who turned down a two-year, trial-free deal from cashed-up Maltese champions Valletta last week, had been offered a contract but added “negotiations remain ongoing” over the athlete’s footballing future.

The club said it was seeking outside sponsors to top up the offer to Bolt.