Eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt has been offered a contract by Australian professional soccer side Central Coast Mariners, according to his agent.
The 32-year-old scored two goals for Mariners in a trial match this month as he seeks a switch from athletics to soccer.
"In response to the media stories, yes, Usain has been offered a contract," his agent Ricky Simms was quoted as saying to Australian media over the weekend, declining to comment further.
Questions will always be asked about whether signing Bolt was more about public relations than his footballing prowess. Despite scoring those goals in one pre-season friendly, some have raised concerns over his ability to effectively make the transition between sports.
Bolt wasn't involved in Mariners' A-League opening draw against Brisbane Roar on Sunday, after which Coach Mike Mulvey said he knew nothing about any contract for the Jamaican.
"That's for a few pay grades above my level," Mulvey said. "I do appreciate how important this story is for the rest of the world."
"But you have a look at our frontline today and you wonder if he could get into any of those positions, wouldn't you?" he went on to say.
The contract offer would be the second made to Bolt, after Maltese club Valletta FC approached the Jamaican with a two-year contract that he turned down.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has made it clear that the "marquee" money that has in the past helped Australian clubs lure the likes of former Juventus and Italy forward Alessandro Del Piero to the A-League will not be available to sign Bolt.
That means any contract from the Mariners, whose average home crowd last season was just over 7,000, is unlikely to be highly lucrative, with local media speculating it would be worth about 150,000 Australian dollars ($106,560) a season.
According to Forbes, Bolt was earning upwards of $20 million a year mostly from endorsements before his retirement from athletics in 2017 and his biggest deal with sports brand Puma pays him more than $10 million annually.
Bolt remains the world record holder in both the 100 meter and 200 meter sprint events and has recently moved into the restaurant business. His first Track and Records establishment in the United Kingdom is due to open at the end of October, with several more set to follow.
"London is my second home and a place very close to my heart — so it's brilliant to be sharing a taste of Jamaica in the capital," Bolt said earlier this month on social media.
The Jamaican-based company Kingston Live Entertainment Group is behind Bolt's restaurant push and it plans to open fifteen more over the next five years.