Usain Bolt has turned down a contract from Maltese champions Valletta and will remain in Australia to pursue his professional football career, his agent said on Thursday.
The eight-time Olympic champion has been on trial with A-League club the Central Coast Mariners since arriving Down Under in August.
He scored two goals in a pre-season friendly last Friday but is yet to be offered a deal, with cashed-up Valletta dangling a two-year trial-free contract to entice him away earlier this week.
But Bolt’s agent Ricky Simms said he had opted against a move to the Maltese Premier League team, which is backed by a group of investors from the Sanban Group in the United Arab Emirates.
“There is a lot of interest in Usain playing football.
“We regularly receive similar approaches. I can confirm Usain does not wish to pursue this opportunity in Malta,” he told ESPN.
Valletta chief executive Ghasston Slimen told ESPN: “We wish Usain Bolt all the best with his football career. The Valletta FC offer is always on the table.”
Australia’s domestic A-League season starts this weekend, with the Mariners in action on Sunday away to Brisbane Roar.
With no contract, Bolt is not eligible for selection.