Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has given some insight into what led to Khama Billiat leaving the club and opting for a move to rivals Kaizer Chiefs.
Billiat reportedly snubbed several offers abroad which his agent had been lining up in favour of a free transfer to Amakhosi, in a move that left many Sundowns supporters taken aback.
The 27-year-old forward saw his contract run out at Chloorkop at the end of June, despite numerous reported attempts from the Tshwane giants to convince him to stay.
However, Mosimane has since explained that the club was not willing to meet Billiat’s demands and risk losing the dressing room in the process.
“It’s his decision [to join Chiefs]. That’s what he wanted. But it’s important for us as Sundowns to look after the dressing room,” Mosimane tells Kick Off.
“I think everybody knows that we look after our players well, and people know that we are not one of those clubs that don’t pay. But, honestly speaking, if we gave Khama what he wanted – that he got from Chiefs, I would lose Themba Zwane, Tiyani Mabunda, Gaston Sirino, even Percy [Tau], who is still our player remember.
“I would lose Denis Onyango – African player of the year, Tebogo Langerman… I would lose all these players just for one man – no, it’s not possible. I don’t want to talk about other teams, they know what they’re doing, but Denis Onyango is important to me. It means I must give all these players that kind of money. No, it’s not possible.”
‘Jingles’ further noted that the offer The Brazilians tabled already exceeded the PSL’s record for earnings, but believes the Zimbabwean international was lured by an even more lucrative offer at Naturena.
“At Sundowns, we have a collective team that you all know – this one scores seven goals, this one scores eight, that one six. So, there’s no way we could [meet Billiat’s demands],” he adds.
“We would lose the dressing room. It’s good for football where Khama went and got the money, because football is a short career, and we’re happy for him. Personally, I’m happy that these things can happen in South Africa. It’s a new market now, but I don’t want the next player in my team to come and say to me, ‘Excuse me, I’m also important in the team. Can you match that? How can you pay one man that?’
“So, I’ll rather lose one player hey. We gave him a good offer. Trust me, it was a big offer. The offer that we gave, he could have been the highest paid player, which would probably have taken four years for that record to be broken. Where he is now, I don’t know how many years it’s going to take [to break his record].”