Central Coast Mariners said they are still in negotiations with Usain Bolt amid speculation the Olympic champion had rejected an offer from the A-League side.
Reports emerged that Bolt, 32, turned down a contract from the Mariners, a proposal "much, much less" than the sprint superstar originally wanted, according to A-League chief Greg O'Rourke.
The Mariners responded to speculation on Tuesday, revealing a deal to sign Jamaican superstar Bolt to a professional contract will not be possible without "the financial contribution of an external third-party".
Central Coast also said Bolt – who has been trialling with the Mariners in Australia since August and turned down a contract from Maltese champions Valletta – will not train with the team until and if terms are agreed.
"The Central Coast Mariners and Usain Bolt's representative Ricky Simms have progressed contract discussions and would like to offer clarity around the negotiations between the club and Usain Bolt," the statement read.
"The club can confirm that a contract proposal has been offered by the Central Coast Mariners and negotiations remain ongoing with Usain Bolt and his management regarding his football future.
"Both parties are eager to explore all options and ensure that if there is a suitable way forward for both player and club, the two parties will keep working together and formalise an agreement. The Central Coast Mariners want to ensure that Usain Bolt is given every chance possible to fulfil his dream to become a professional football player.
"There are two main terms of discussion involved in this negotiation: football and commercial.
"Regarding the football terms of the negotiations, Usain has made great progression during his time on the Central Coast and we feel that he will improve further with more individual intensive training and competitive game time. We are looking at ways to do this as the club does not have the luxury to be able to do this in the A-League.
"Regarding the commercial terms of the negotiations, Usain Bolt’s management and the Central Coast Mariners are in conversations with external partners to find a commercial solution that suits all parties. It is important to note, that contract values speculated in the media are incorrect. Without the financial contribution of an external third-party, it is unlikely that Usain Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners will agree to terms.
"To ensure that there is no distraction to the A-League squad in preparing for this weekend's match vs. Melbourne City; Usain Bolt will not attend team training this week, until and if, the club and Usain Bolt can agree to terms and formalise an arrangement."
20. November 2018
|Sane encouraged despite Germany´s ´annoying´ Nations League draw|
|Character got Netherlands through, says Koeman|
19. November 2018
|Netherlands´ focus still on Euros - Van Dijk|
|Ireland will be ready for qualifiers, insists O´Neill|
|Smith undergoes successful surgery, Redskins sign Sanchez|
|Germany 2 Netherlands 2: Dramatic five-minute fightback seals Oranje progression|
|Denmark 0 Republic of Ireland 0: Thrills at a premium again in Aarhus|
|O´Brien could return for start of Six Nations|
|Cavani: Neymar and I are ´friends, brothers, team-mates´|
|Pothas named Windies interim head coach|
|LA Galaxy planning for Ibrahimovic stay|
|NFL will return to Mexico City in 2019|
|Broner vows to end Pacquiao´s career in Las Vegas|
|UEFA should punish PSG and Man City, says LaLiga chief|
|Teenage driver Floersch has ´no fear of paralysis´ after operation|
|Mancini bemoans Italy´s misfortune in front of goal|
|Sprint legend Johnson ´pretty much back to normal´ after stroke|
|Bournemouth defender Adam Smith out for three months|
|World champions France out to end 2018 on a high|
|I told him there´s no future in football! A-Rod relieved to be ignored by Mahomes|
|Dembele must focus and be more responsible - Suarez|
|Neymar could return one day – Barca chief|
|Cole backs West Ham to keep Arnautovic|
|Injury rules Bernardo Silva out of Poland clash|
|Lamar Jackson debut start ´spectacular´ - Ravens coach Harbaugh|
|Babar run out the turning point, laments Sarfraz|
|West Ham boost London Stadium capacity to 60,000|
|A great advertisement for Test cricket - Williamson revels in stunning win|
|Van Dijk one of the world´s best - Klaassen|
|Floersch had ´angel on her shoulder´ in horror crash|
|Gascoigne charged with sexual assault|
|I am going to stay at Chelsea and fight, insists Giroud|
|Hansen to make announcement on All Blacks future|
|I have reached the top by joining Chelsea - Sarri|
|Bonucci tells Italy boo boys to ´live with less envy´|
|Dramatic Pakistan collapse gives Stead first New Zealand Test win|
|Button enjoying racing for first time in years|
|Dortmund chief not planning Pulisic sale|
|Theismann: Smith leg break ´heart-wrenching´ to watch|
|Wolves defender Jonny suffers knee injury|
|Holmes to meet with Sharks amid NFL switch talk|
|LeBron made 51 points ´look easy´, says Walton|
|McGuire signs four-year deal with Cowboys|
|Bears beat Vikings to extend NFC North lead|
|Peng overcomes Davis in Houston final|
|Kerr says this has been his toughest stretch as Warriors coach|
|LeBron scores 51 in Lakers´ win, Warriors fall to Spurs|
|Win more than Djokovic? Let´s chill out – Zverev|
|Steelers´ rally highlights wild day of close, last-minute finishes|
|Modric not worried about Ballon d´Or|
|Saints pull away for blowout victory over Eagles, extend winning streak to nine|
|Martinez laments loss of control by Belgium|
|Logano claims first NASCAR Cup championship|
|Luis Enrique delighted with attitude of Spain´s squad|
|Stevens tells Celtics to get ´tougher´|
|Griezmann: Being Messi´s lieutenant played a part in rejecting Barcelona|
|Curry proud of how Warriors handled Green-Durant incident|
|Courtois: Belgium thought Nations League job was done|
18. November 2018
|Howell ends 11-year title drought to deny record-breaking Rodgers|
|Robben dismisses Bayern title talk|
|Huge blow for Redskins as QB Smith breaks tibia and fibula|
|Switzerland 5 Belgium 2: Seferovic treble crowns incredible comeback|
|Titans DC Pees taken to hospital during Colts game|
|Spain 1 Bosnia-Herzegovina 0: Debutant Mendez spares Morata´s blushes|
|Peterson goes sixth on rushing touchdowns list|
|Titans QB Mariota suffers elbow injury|
|Djokovic hails much-improved Zverev|
|Arnautovic refuses to discuss West Ham future after Austria win|
|Redskins QB Smith carted off after gruesome ankle injury|
|Jaguars shut down Jalen Ramsey trade rumours|