Bolt rejects soccer deal offer from Maltese club

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Central Coast Mariners v Central Coast Select - Central Coast Stadium, Gosford, Australia - August 31, 2018 Central Coast Mariners' Usain Bolt applauds the fans after the match REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

(Reuters) – Sprinting legend Usain Bolt has turned down the offer of a two-year deal to play soccer for Maltese champions Valletta FC, his agent has confirmed.

The 32-year-old Jamaican, who is hoping to win a contract at Australian side Central Coast Mariners, improved his chances of securing a deal by scoring twice in a pre-season friendly last week.

Valletta had hoped to sign the eight-times Olympic gold medallist in time to feature in a Maltese Super Cup match against Balzan next month, but Bolt’s agent in Australia has confirmed the former athlete opted against a move to Malta.

“Usain does not wish to pursue this Malta opportunity,” Ricky Simms told ESPN. “There is a lot of interest in Usain playing football. We regularly receive similar approaches.”

Bolt, who holds the world records for the 100 and 200 metres, has repeatedly expressed his hope to win a contract ahead of the 2018-19 A-League campaign which kicks off this weekend.

Mariners coach Mike Mulvey, however, was reluctant to talk about Bolt on Thursday, insisting he was not involved in negotiations.

“I’m really not interested in it (contract speculation) to tell you the truth,” he told reporters.

“He’s been great among the guys and I was happy for him last week with the two goals he scored, but we move on.”

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