Eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt’s agent has confirmed the star could be on his way to the A-League, after agreeing to a deal “in principle” with the Central Coast Mariners.
Bolt, 31, is set for a six-week trial with the Mariners starting next month, with a season-long deal on the table should he make the grade.
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“The deal between the Mariners and Usain Bolt in principle has been agreed, subject to a couple of benchmarks,” his agent Tony Rallis told the Big Sports Breakfast on Tuesday.
“Mainly, a trial, and of course marquee funds support from the FFA.
“Once the FFA comes back and says that they’ll be part of the process, we’re going to the trial.”
Bolt, a Manchester United fan who attended Sunday’s World Cup final in Moscow, retired from the track after the world championships in London last year.
He has since trialled with German giants Borussia Dortmund and Stromsgodset in Norway.
“If he’s competitive, he will lift our A-League profile,” Rallis said. “He will create dreams for young people and he will give the A-League a profile no amount of money can buy.
“This bloke’s an ambitious athlete. The A-League needed a hero, and we got superman.
“The owner of Central Coast Mariners has put his hand deep in his pocket and guaranteed 70 per cent of the salary.”
The Mariners firmed as Bolt’s most likely destination after taking the sprint king’s ambitions seriously, despite interest from several A-League clubs.
“Apart from him obviously being extremely fast the feedback we have received from Germany and Norway is that he is a very good learner and shows dramatic improvement after every training session,” Mariners chief executive Shaun Mielekamp told Newscorp.
“This is a very real football opportunity, this is not a stunt or gimmick – we want to know if Usain can play.
“If he can, let’s light up the A-League and bring one of the biggest named athletes in sport to the Central Coast.”