Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt has broken his silence on media reports that the club could cash in on Khama Billiat ahead of next season.
With Billiat’s contract coming to an end in June, speculation is rife that he could be allowed to join any of the North African teams that have shown interest in his services.
Zamalek, Al Ahly, and Wydad Casablanca have all been linked with possibly signing the Amakhosi talisman, but Hunt said it’s only the media that’s peddling false information about Billiat not being in his plans for the upcoming season.
“He’s all in the plans. It’s only people like you who will say he is not in the plans,” Hunt told reporters.
“I don’t know where the story comes from. He is in the plans. So, we need to get him fit,” he said.
Billiat will soon be into the final three months of his initial three-year deal signed with Chiefs back in 2018, though the club still holds an option to extend his deal.
Reports have sprung up in recent times that suggest he may be one of the senior players offloaded over under-performance, which has contributed to the downward spiral of the club.
However, Hunt has scoffed at the rumours that he could be released and assured the Zimbabwean international's importance as he nears a return from a lengthy injury layoff.
"So, ja, he's in the plans and we need to get him fit. He had a broken leg, he's jogging and running now, so hopefully in the next two weeks we can at least get him a little bit of game time – 20 minutes here and there in some friendlies or something."
The club have yet to announce anything official regarding Billiat's future but, following Hunt's utterances, the club may look to activate his option or renegotiate a new deal soon.
Hunt is hopeful of having Billiat back in his Chiefs team in the next two weeks, saying the technical team will give the 30-year-old some game time when he returns.
“He had a broken leg. He is jogging now and hopefully in the next two weeks we can get him a little [bit] of game time,” he confirmed.
And it’s not only Billiat that Hunt is worried about. Leonardo Castro is another player that the 56-year-old mentor wants back into the team in order to give Chiefs more options upfront.
“We need Khama back. We’ve got to get Khama and Castro fit again. So, that they can add to the options,” concluded Hunt.