Bolt rejects offer to join Maltese side Valletta

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A double for Central Coast Mariners enhanced the Jamaican's growing reputation as a footballer, but he has turned down a contract elsewhere

Usain Bolt has rejected a two-year deal with Maltese champions Valletta, the eight-time Olympic champion's agent has confirmed.

The Jamaican has been trying to earn a contract with Central Coast Mariners and scored twice in a trial match last Friday.

With the A-League season beginning this weekend, Bolt's future with the Australian club remains unclear.

However, agent Ricky Simms said his client had decided against a move to Malta, with Valletta having gone public in their pursuit of the 32-year-old

Simms told Omnisport: "There is a lot of interest in Usain playing football. We are regularly approached by clubs from all over the world.   

"The only difference with the latest offer is that it was made through the media. 

"I can confirm that Usain does not want to pursue the opportunity in Malta."

Valletta, who were taken over by Abu Dhabi-based Sanban Group in September, wanted Bolt to spearhead their Champions League aspirations.

"A champion is always welcome and at Valletta FC we believe nothing is impossible," Valletta managing director and CEO Ghasston Slimen told ESPN .

Central Coast Mariners chief executive Shaun Mielekamp is unsure if the club will try to land Bolt on a permanent deal, saying last week: "We have genuinely treated Usain like we would have any other trialist. He's been training hard with us and he showed weaknesses, but he also showed his strengths and got two goals, so all credit to him.

"Whether it sways the outcome, it's too early to tell. We will now liaise heavily with our sporting director Mike Phelan, who is due back in the country shortly."

Bolt himself was left unhappy following a recent Mariners game after he was picked to take a doping test, much to his surprise.

"How am I going to get a drug test today? I'm not even a professional footballer yet. Seriously," he said on Instagram.

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"So I asked the lady, 'Why am I getting drug tested when I haven't signed for a club yet?' and she said they told her I'm an elite athlete so I have to get tested."

Bolt, who retired from track and field in 2017, has been training with the Mariners since August.

He previously spent time training with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund, Mamelodi Sundowns and Stromsgodset.

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