ZIMBABWE international forward Khama Billiat continues to attract overseas interest with Belgian and Chinese clubs reportedly the latest angling to sign the footballer. BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA – NEWSDAY
Billiat – a huge influence at South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns — has helped the Brazilians to the brink of the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) title after scoring 10 goals and providing several assists. It is the first time he has reached double figures since joining the South African Premiership.
Although there has been long-standing admiration that the Zimbabwean has had from France with Lille reported to have shown interest, an unnamed club from Belgium has also enquired about his services.
Lille reportedly sent scouts to Zimbabwe to watch Billiat as the Warriors played Swaziland in a Group L 2017 Africa Cup of Nations second leg qualifier at the National Sports Stadium on Easter Monday.
The Warriors thrashed Swaziland 4-0 on the afternoon with the 25-year-old Mamelodi Sundowns man scoring one of the goals — a beauty.
Although the Belgian club that is tracking him could not be immediately established, it is understood KV Oostende, who have developed an interest in Zimbabwean players after Nyasha Mushekwi left a mark during his stint there, before they signed Knowledge Musona, is one of those that has shown interest.
According to KickOff, there is also reported interest from the super-rich Chinese Super League and the Arabian Gulf League.
A club in China is said to be keen in meeting what Sundowns will ask for and will also hand Billiat a lucrative deal, better than what he is currently earning at Chloorkop and better than what the clubs chasing him in Europe will pay him.
However, it will be up to Billiat to decide on whether he wants to head to Asia and make money or take the path of seeking “football progress” by joining a Belgian or French club that will not pay him as much as the Chinese can offer.
Sundowns have already made it known that they will not stand in the player’s way should the right offer be tabled and Billiat is keen on a move.
Billiat, who is tipped to win the PSL Player of the Year, turns 26 in August and is faced with making career decisions that will determine whether he chooses to continue enjoying the comforts of remaining in a league where there is nothing else for him to achieve or move abroad.