JOHANNESBURG - In what fantasy world does Khama Billiat live in? Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane on Sunday revealed that the 2016 Football of the Year appears to have made up his mind about leaving the Brazilians for greener pastures - probably as a free agent.
Now, if Billiat had a big-money offer from a relatively decent team in Europe and Sundowns were being stubborn with the release clause, I’d understand.
But from what we are being told and what has been extensively reported, the talented attacker is apparently being lured by Cape Town City while the only club abroad that has been linked with his services is from Saudi Arabia.
I mean really. As far as trophies, honours and status, the greener pastures don’t come within a whisker of what he can achieve at Sundowns. In case he needs to be reminded, Billiat was incredibly inconsistent in the three years he spent at Ajax Cape Town from 2010 to 2013, and it wasn’t until his switch to Chloorkop that his career peaked.
In four years there, Billiat has won the PSL twice and was part of the team that brought the club’s greatest triumph yet in the form of the Caf Champions League in October last year. Mosimane has kept to his word and fulfilled his promise.
It was back in 2013 when the former Bafana Bafana coach predicted that with Billiat at Sundowns, the Brazilians would not only win the league, but the player himself would collect several individual awards on his way to becoming a complete player.
But Billiat now wants a new challenge - and possibly more money as he nears the end of his contract at the Brazilians. He has also reportedly refused the No 10 jersey, which he would have inherited from Teko Modise, who joined City on a free transfer last month.
Training time 💪 pic.twitter.com/BLoEMsWpD8
It’s likely that the Saudi Arabian club that has been sniffing around could more than match whatever high package he is on at Sundowns, but it’s hard to believe that returning to the Mother City would be beneficial for his progress or his pocket.
This whole saga proves yet again that you can never predict what a footballer is going to do next - especially off the pitch. Billiat turns 27 on Saturday and it’s difficult to see what type of carrot other local clubs, Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates included, could dangle to entice him to make a domestic switch.
It seems a quality squad and the potential to dominate the PSL over the next few years is no longer enough for the striker. But Sundowns aren’t particularly innocent, and perhaps the player and his agent feel it’s time to break off the shackles.
Shortly following his crowning moment as the Footballer of the Year, Billiat attracted interest from several European sides and it is believed Sundowns would only let him leave for a whopping R37million - an absurd valuation that no doubt would have put off any suitor.
Maybe his only option really is to see out his contract and not commit his future with the club to push a move through. Mosimane, though he is resigned to seeing him leave, has made it clear he will keep playing Billiat as long as the player is contracted to the club and has almost guaranteed he will not join another club before the close of the transfer window on 31 August. But stranger things have happened, although, in this instance they really shouldn’t if Billiat knows what’s good for him.