Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE international forward, Khama Billiat, is making headlines amid reports there are moves for him to secure a deal worth about US$800 000 per year in North Africa.
The Kaizer Chiefs star is believed to be the highest paid player in the South African Premiership with a package of around R8 million per annum.
He has been linked with Egyptian clubs Al Ahly and Pyramids.
An Egyptian agent told KickOff the Zimbabwean had attracted the interests of big spenders, Pyramids, who have been luring high-profile players into their fold.
“Talks are already in progress, for the next transfer window, and the only clubs that can afford Billiat at the moment are Pyramids and Al Ahly,” the Egyptian agent, who did not wish to be named, told KickOff.com.
“Pyramids can pay any transfer figure because they have the money and love spending.
“They can easily pay US$1.5 million and even US$2 million if they feel they really need the player.
“In this case, Pyramids should be more interested because they don’t care about the age of players, as well, but just like big-profile players.
“Billiat can as well earn US$800 000 per annum here in Egypt, as a big-profile player.’’
Record African champions, Al Ahly, are also reported to be interested in the Warrior.
His former coach at Mamelodi Sundowns, Pitso Mosimane, who is now the head coach of Al Ahly, has always made it clear he considers Billiat an asset.
The Cairo powerhouse, the continent’s biggest and most successful football club, tried to sign Billiat in 2016.
Thousands of Al Ahly fans, sang Billiat’s name, asking him to come and join their club, when the Warriors battled the Pharaohs in the opening 2019 AFCON finals in Cairo.
“With Zamalek, they are out of the picture, for now, because they have already signed players in that position and don’t have the budget for a big-money signing,’’ the agent told KickOff.com
“With Al Ahly, they will obviously be guided by Pitso Mosimane in how much they should spend to bring in Billiat.
“Mosimane has worked with the player before and so knows him very well and he has deep knowledge of the South African market, in terms of what can be paid for players.’’
Mosimane tried, and failed, to get Billiat back at Sundowns last season.
“Khama played different football (at Sundowns),’’ he told SAFM. “Khama is totally different. It’s unbelievable every week I am watching (him).
“You must know that I took this boy as a 22-year-old from Ajax Cape Town, they were flirting with relegation and I told him that he’s the greatest player Zimbabwe has ever produced and (would be) a big player for Sundowns.
“I sold him the vision and look what happened when Khama was on the pitch.
“He is a totally different player and you’ve got to know how to deal with him, soft, and he also likes to be told he’s a star.”
Mosimane said to get the best out of players like Billiat, coaches should treat them differently.
“When you have top players, you have to make sure they play according to the strengths but the system you play must suit everyone to play to their strengths,’’ the coach said.
“Of course, it will never be 100 percent, the way you want, but you’ve got to allow them to play the way they want to play.
“Our job is to coach and allow them (top players) to play to their strengths and Sundowns’ way of playing suits Khama.
“All I am saying is that Khama knows. I can tell you he knows… he is a good player and we love him at Sundowns.
“He left for greener pastures and there’s nothing wrong. He wants to look after his family — that’s life.
“Neymar left Barca, because he wanted something else and wanted to go back to Barca, at least rumour says it, but I’m not here to discuss other teams but Khama knows.’’
Since his move to Chiefs, three years ago, Billiat has failed to reproduce the form which made him a household name at Sundowns.
So far, this season, he has scored one goal, after contributing three last season.
In his first season, at the Glamour Boys, he scored 11 goals.
The loss of form has been attributed by some, including his former manager and compatriot Peter Ndlovu, to “too much football” with Sundowns having played in the Champions League for the three seasons. Meanwhile, SuperSport United chief executive, Stan Matthews, say they have no plans to sell their Zimbabwean forward, Evans Rusike.
Rusike’s stint at SuperSport, who are under the guidance of Kaitano Tembo, has been affected by injuries .
“There are no player movements for us in this window,” Matthews told KickOff.com.
“Evans has just come back from injury and started playing and we have many injuries like (Guily) Manziba and (Iqraam) Rayners, so we can’t sell him now.’’