Eight-time Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt is “unlikely” to sign a deal with Central Coast Mariners without a financial contribution from a “third party”, say the Australian club.
The Jamaican, 32, retired from athletics in 2017 and has been on trial with the A-League side.
The Mariners said they have made a “contract proposal” broken down into “football” and “commercial” terms.
Bolt will not train with the team “until and if” an agreement is reached.
Bolt scored two goals on his first start for the Mariners in a friendly, but was not in the squad for the season-opening 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar on Sunday.
In outlining the football element of the proposed deal, the Mariners said Bolt had made “great progression” with them.
“We feel that he will improve further with more individual intensive training and competitive game time,” a statement read.
“We are looking at ways to do this as the club does not have the luxury to be able to do this in the Hyundai A-League.”
The Mariners said they and Bolt’s management team are in “conversations” with “external partners” to find a “commercial solution”.
“Without the financial contribution of an external third-party, it is unlikely that Usain Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners will agree to terms,” the club said.
Bolt, the 100m and 200m world record holder, turned down a two-year deal with Maltese champions Valletta FC this month.
He trained with German giants Borussia Dortmund, South African club Sundowns and Norway’s Stromsgodset before joining the Mariners in August.