The Jamaican former sprinter, Usain Bolt, is reportedly settling a six-week stint with the Central Coast Mariners, a team in the country’s A-League competition.
Club officials said “if all goes well”, Bolt could be signed for a season. His agent, Tony Rallis, said the trial had been agreed “in principle”.
Retiring from athletics in 2017 at the age of 30, the 100m and 200m world record holder has previously spoken about his interest in becoming a professional footballer. Notably, he has previously trained with clubs in Germany, Norway, and South Africa.
Mariners chief executive Shaun Mielekamp said the club had spent four months pursuing Bolt, and that progress on the deal was “going really well”. Bolt is a fan of Manchester United and one of its former assistant managers, Mike Phelan, is now at the Mariners.
Rallis said negotiations continued over Bolt’s pay. Additionally, News Corp Australia reported that a “multi-million dollar” deal had been proposed.
“The owner of Central Coast Mariners has put his hand deep in his pocket and guaranteed 70% of the salary,” Rallis told local Sky Sports Radio.
A Football Federal Australia spokesman told has also stated that it would not assist in funding Bolt’s trial. Mielekamp said the club was optimistic that the trial could be extended.
“If all goes well, who knows? He may be lighting up the A-League this season,” he told the local Seven Network on Tuesday.
Mielekamp said the club had received positive reports of Bolt’s performance when he trained with German club Borussia Dortmund and Norwegian side Stromsgodset.