By Sports Reporter
SOUTH African football heavyweights Mamelodi Sundowns have raised the stakes in their quest to re-sign Zimbabwe international forward Khama Billiat from Kaizer Chiefs after reportedly tabling an initial offer of R15-million plus an unspecified number of players in exchange for his signature.
The 28-year-old star’s future has been the subject of intense speculation in the South African media since last month with reports linking him with a return to Mamelodi Sundowns before the close of the transfer window at the end of August.
Billiat is contracted to Kaizer Chiefs until June 2021.
Mamelodi Sundowns’ acting general manager Yogesh Singh revealed that talks with Kaizer Chiefs on the player were currently ongoing before adding that the Pretoria-based club would do whatever it takes to bring back the tiny football star to its dressing room.
“There have been discussions with Chiefs about Khama and our intentions of bringing the player back to Sundowns are serious‚” said Singh.
“Discussions are ongoing and we are willing to do whatever is needed to bring him back to the club.
“We are waiting to hear from Kaizer Chiefs as to how we can take the process forward.
“Today is only the 14th of August and we still have time until the end of the month to try and do a deal. I am not in a position to disclose the details of our engagements with Chiefs.”
Chiefs spokesman Alpheus ‘Vina’ Maphosa said Billiat is still their player and they are concerned by the speculation around him.
“Khama is a Chiefs player, anytime there is this type of news making the rounds we get concerned because we are focusing on the next game,” he said.
“He is recovering well (from injury).
“There is no time a club is happy to see the name of their player being bandied about.”
Billiat‚ who joined Kaizer Chiefs at the beginning of last season as a free agent‚ has missed the opening two league matches with the club insisting that he is recovering from an injury he suffered during the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt a few weeks ago.
The Warriors star, who recently acquired a R2.5 million worth Range Rover Lumma CLR RS 2019 is the highest paid player in the South African league, earning R10 million a year, which translates to R833 333 per month before tax.
After 38% tax, Billiat reportedly takes home R515 000 a month, making him comfortably the top-earner in South Africa’s top-flight football.
During his highly successful stay at Sundowns‚ Billiat helped the club to three league titles‚ the Caf Champions League and Caf Super Cup.
He finished a disappointing ninth place at Chiefs last season.