South Africa Premiership club, Mamelodi Sundowns coach, Pitso Mosimane has admitted that Warriors star, Khama Billiat wants to leave the African football champions and will not sign a new deal at the club.
BY KEVIN MAPASURE
The club has been making concerted efforts to convince the 26-year-old striker to commit to a new deal, but Billiat has declined and wants out.
Despite his talents, Billiat has not been able to get a move to Europe and it is believed that the reason behind that is a prohibitive buy-out clause.
Billiat’s representatives have, for the last couple of months, been locked up in contract talks with the club, but the discussions have not yielded anything.
An earlier report suggested that Billiat wanted a substantially lower buyout clause so that he could attract European interest.
It is believed the buy-out clause in his contract is just over $2 million.
At the weekend, Mosimane admitted that the club could finally lose Billiat.
“If he renews, we love him, he is a good player, but he wants to leave and he doesn’t want to renew,” he said after Sundowns’ defeat to Maritzburg United in the MTN8.
“What else can we do? It is his life. We lost Katlego Mphela, we continued and won cups. We’ve lost Elias Pelembe and we won cups. We lost Lebogang Mokoena, we won cups. We lost Ramahlwe Mphahlele and we won the Champions League. We lost Bongani Zungu and we won the league.
“We will lose players, but we will go on. But we would love him to stay, we want him (Billiat) to stay and I think he will stay. Sundowns are strong. I will be gone and someone else will win the league. So, life goes on.”
It is believed Billiat is angling on a move to Europe. There was interest from Saudi Arabian side, Al Nasir, but it did not develop into a deal.
He has in the past been linked with clubs in Belgium and England after he consistently played at a top level.
The talismanic forward helped Sundowns win the Caf Champions League last year and was nominated for the Footballer of the Year award for players that ply their trade on the continent.
Even after a good performance at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, Billiat has strangely remained holed up in South Africa.
To many, Billiat deserves to be playing in Europe, but he has watched some of his teammates including Keagan Dolly going out to Europe while he stayed Down South.
Of late, the Warriors have had only Knowledge Musona and defender Costa Nhamoinesu playing in decent European leagues.
Billiat knows that as he approaches the age of 30, his chances of playing in Europe diminish considerably.
In January, Billiat will be able to start negotiating with other clubs, as he will have entered the last six months of his contract.
It is also possible that if he doesn’t change his mind, Sundowns may be forced to sell him during this transfer window, as they would risk losing him for free.