BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
There is a reported scramble for Warriors attacker Khama Billiat, but while he would have wanted that interest and fight for his signature to come from European clubs, it is only African clubs that are vying for his services.
Billiat had a good show at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals, where he had set himself an objective of trying to convince European clubs that he was worth a punt, but it seems his exploits only impressed clubs from North Africa where Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca have joined the race for the signature of Zimbabwe international forward, with clubs from Egypt and Tunisia also said to be interested.
He scored Zimbabwe’s only goal at the tournament in the 1-1 draw against Uganda.
Although Zimbabwe were eliminated in the group stages after the 4-0 humiliation by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Billiat stood out in all three matches and it looked like this could be his breakthrough moment.
According to a report from Maghribfoot.com, Raja technical director, Fathi Jamal, was impressed with the Kaizer Chiefs forward and the former African champions are reported to be determined to bring him into their squad.
The Moroccan giants believe that Billiat can be a perfect replacement for star man Zakaria Hadraf, who left the North African club for Saudi Arabia.
The player’s agent Mike Ngobeni told KickOff he has been inundated with calls from various clubs seeking his services.
“Of course all the big clubs in Egypt wish to have him still.
“I’m overwhelmed with phone calls from Morocco and Tunisia also. I told them they must contact Kaizer Chiefs, he is not a free player, he is employed.
“The boy was in Afcon and he did very well although the team was eliminated early. But yes I’m seized with phone calls, you know. I’m seized with phone calls.
. . Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia . . . Casablanca and all those clubs, they did contact me, but at the end of the day . . . I can’t say anything because they must talk to Chiefs.”
While reports have suggested that there are some in the Warriors Afcon 2019 squad who have attracted European interest, it is clear from Ngobeni’s statement that Billiat is not one of them.
From Egypt, Al Ahly and Zamalek are said to be keen to secure the former Mamelodi Sundowns forward.
Al Ahly are long-term admirers of the Zimbabwean forward who now stars for Kaizer Chiefs in South Africa after dumping Mamelodi Sundowns.
Following his outstanding performance in the 1-0 defeat to Egypt in the opening match of the Afcon campaign, Al Ahly fans begged him to stay behind after the tournament.
Billiat, however, told the South African media that, while he appreciated the Egyptians’ love for him, he had a contract with his current club which he had to respect.
“I appreciate the Egyptians’ love for me, but I have a contract which I have to respect,” he said at the time.
The Warriors star attracted the attention of Al Ahly when he was still on Mamelodi Sundowns books.