'We'll do whatever it takes to get Billiat back from Chiefs‚' says Sundowns after multimillion rand offer
Mamelodi Sundowns have raised the stakes in their quest to capture wantaway Kaizer Chiefs star Khama Billiat and tabled an initial offer of between R13-million and R15-million plus an unspecified number of players in exchange for his signature.
The money on the table and the player sweeteners are expected to increase to dizzy heights in the coming days as Sundowns are determined to re-sign Billiat‚ who himself wants to return to his former club‚ before the close of the transfer window at the end of the month.
While senior Sundowns official Yogesh Singh declined to reveal the offer on the table‚ he conceded that discussions with Chiefs are ongoing.
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He did not mince his words and said the Brazilians are determined to bring back the 28-year-old Zimbabwean star attacker to Chloorkop.
“There have been discussions with Chiefs about Khama and our intentions of bringing the player back to Sundowns are serious‚” said Singh‚ who added that they would do whatever it takes to bring him back to Chloorkop.
“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 Amakhosi at the beginning of last season as a free agent‚ has missed Chiefs’ 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.
Some of the players who may be offered to Chiefs as part of the deal include Lucky Mohomi‚ Aubrey Ngoma‚ Jeremy Brockie‚ Thokozani Sekotlong‚ Ali Meza and to a less extent Oupa Manyisa.
These players have found limited playing opportunities at Sundowns since they joined on different stages over the past few seasons and they may be open to moving to Naturena to resurrect their careers.
The other high-profile player who has seen little action at Sundowns and is not in coach Pitso Mosimane's plans is George Lebese.
But it remains to be seen if Lebese would make a sensational return to Naturena. Sundowns have turned to Billiat after they failed in their attempts to swoop on Teboho Mokoena and Aubrey Modiba from SuperSport United. But their Pretoria neighbours made it clear that the two players were not for sale locally.
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.