Retired Olympic sprint icon Usain Bolt has said Premier League stars Paul Pogba and Raheem Sterling support his dream to become a professional footballer, despite the Jamaican encountering criticism in recent months.
Bolt spent time on trial with A-League outfit the Central Coast Mariners, and Perth Glory and ex-Republic of Ireland forward Andy Keogh said he had a first touch "like a trampoline," per Sky Sports.
But the eight-time Olympic gold medal-winner says Manchester City star Sterling and 2018 FIFA World Cup-winner Pogba are among those supporters encouraging him to continue in his goal:
"Football is something that I want. I'm sure he [Keogh] is not at the level he was when he started, you know what I mean?
"I don't take it personally, I just laugh at these things because I've met Patrick Vieira, I've met so many big football players.
"I've talked to Pogba and Sterling and they are happy to see me trying, they say 'come on, you can do it'.
"They support me, so I'm not going to worry about some simple players saying some things about me because I have high-level players knowing this is a dream and what I want to do."
He added: "People are going to say what they want, I'm used to this. I used to do track and field, people used to think badly of me when I started and I proved them wrong every year."
Goal's Chris Burton wrote there were offers from the Mariners to sign Bolt on permanent terms, while he also turned down the advances of Maltese club Valletta, who tabled a two-year contract, per Sky Sports.
ABC News reported the Mariners' offer was worth only $100,000 per year, however. According to Forbes, Bolt ranks as the 45th highest-paid athlete in the world for 2018 with $31 million in earnings, so it's easy to see why the A-League offer didn't match up:
That being said, Bolt continued in his interview with Sky Sports and said: "This is not about all about the money. This is a dream, and I want to try and see how good I can be."
Sterling's support carries particular weight given the form he's been in for City this season, scoring six goals in 10 Premier League games, while Pogba has been underwhelming for eighth-placed United, the club Bolt supports.
His two goals for the Mariners came in a friendly against minnows Macarthur South West United, and Bolt also spent a short time training with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund in March:
Having the backing of players as revered as Sterling and Pogba can't hurt his chances of realising his dream, and Goal's Dejan Kalinic reported Bolt has set himself a November deadline to find a club.
The Jamaican star only has a fortnight until that deadline passes but recently said he'll call it quits if the right situation doesn't arise, although he assured he has "a lot of offers," via Ruptly:
With no suggestion of a deal with any club being close yet, one would have to assume none of those offers have met Bolt's expectations.
Bolt will turn 33 in August, which is already ebbing toward the end of the average professional football career, and there's a chance Bolt could see his dream of a transition drift.