Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
EGYPTIAN giants Zamalek have officially tabled an offer for Zimbabwe international Khama Billiat and indicated they are prepared to part with a salary bill of $450 000 per year in a big money move.
The Mufakose-born star could become one of the highest-paid players on the continent.
Billiat, who has been linked with a move to North Africa since last year when it became clear he was not extending his contract with Mamelodi Sundowns, is still locked in negotiations with the five-time African champions.
The 27-year-old Warriors midfielder is set to move as a free agent following the expiry of his deal with Sundowns at the end of this month.
The move is almost certain and yesterday Zamalek.tv reported that the club was trying to negotiate with the player to lower his annual salary from $700 000 to $450 000.
“Zamalek were trying to downgrade Zimbabwean internationals Khama Billiat where Zamalek are pushing for an annual salary cut from $700 000 to $450 000.
“The player will move to Zamalek for free transfer without payment to his current club (Sundowns) after the player’s contract expires with his South African club.
“Zamalek is negotiating with more than one player, in the current period, most notably Hamid Ahad, Khama Billiat and Ivorian Giza, in addition to players from Latin America,” reported Zamalek.tv.
In an earlier interview with The Herald, Billiat indicated he leaves the Tshwane giants a happy man following a successful spell which catapulted him to continental stardom.
Billiat won the ABSA Premiership trophy for the third time in his career in the just-ended season to add to the other silverware that include the Nedbank Cup, Telkom Knock-out, CAF Champions League and CAF Super Cup winner’s medals.
He has also won the ABSA Premiership Footballer of the Year award in 2016.
The Mufakose-born star has said he is not in a rush to make a decision as he is entertaining a number of offers.
He has also been linked with some foreign clubs that include Qarabag of Azerbaijan and FC Steaua Bucarest of Romania who have reportedly offered him an annual salary of 400 000 euro.
Sundowns are also reported to have offered to match whatever the foreign teams have offered but Billiat has made up his mind he wants fresh challenges.
His contract runs out at the end of the month and the Zimbabwe international feels he needs a new environment after winning virtually everything in the ABSA Premiership.
“I have got a couple of offers and we will see what’s best for Khama Billiat and where the future is going to be,” he told local reporters recently.
“I don’t want to lie to myself, I have been happy (at Sundowns). It’s just me trying to challenge myself and see how far I can go. They have been good to me.
“I just pray to God and hope the decision that we are going to make at the end is going to be the right decision that makes everyone who believes in me and everyone who has been supporting me and the whole nation happy.
“That’s why I never rush anything, I have time in my hands and I don’t have any pressure. I can always make a decision even at the last minute but I hope it’s going to be a great decision at the end,” said Billiat.