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Bolt ‘offered cut-price deal’ in Australia: media


Usain Bolt
 SYDNEY, Oct 22: Australia’s Central Coast Mariners have offered sprint superstar Usain Bolt a contract, reports said Monday, but the club’s coach said he knows nothing about it.

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.

He scored two goals in a pre-season friendly last week and on Thursday turned down a two-year, trial-free deal from cashed-up Maltese champions Valletta.

“I can confirm Usain has been offered a contract by Central Coast Mariners,” the Jamaican’s agent Ricky Simms told the BBC.

The club had no immediate comment on Monday, but Sydney’s Daily Telegraph said he had been offered only a fraction of the Aus$3 million (USD2.1 million) that his management had discussed months ago when the prospect of a trial was first mooted.

The newspaper said the potential deal put together in May – on the premise of Bolt passing a trial first – was based on Football Federation Australia contributing Aus dollar 750,000 and other sponsors also topping it up.

Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth had initially pledged Aus$1.5 million, but the deal now offered to the sprinter was much less than this, it added.

The 100m world-record holder, who retired from athletics last year, has previously tried out with clubs in Germany, South Africa and Norway. – AFP

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