Chiefs and Billiat still deadlocked on new contract
Striker said to be considering other options
Amid speculation that Khama Billiat has refused to take a salary cut, hence he hasn't penned a new deal with Kaizer Chiefs yet, club football manager Bobby Motaung confirmed Amakhosi's intention to keep the out-of-contract forward.
"I don't know that [Billiat is refusing to accept a reduced package]. Khama is negotiating a new contract with the club [since] his contract has expired. It's not a salary cut [that's being negotiated]. A salary cut happens when somebody is earning so much and the employer cuts his salary,'' Motaung told Sowetan yesterday.
"With Khama, there's no salary cut because the negotiations are still about the new contract. How can you cut the salary of a person who doesn't have a contract? The negotiations are ongoing and we hope he stays but we don't know what will come out of the negotiations at the end of the day."
Sowetan gathered that Chiefs offered Billiat, who's believed to be one of the highest-paid players in the league, a new one-year deal on condition that his previous package is scaled down. The forward, who turns 33 in August, is understood to have turned the offer down, hoping to get a team that would match his salary expectations in North Africa or Saudi Arabia.
Billiat is the only Chiefs player whose future isn't yet decided after the expiration of his previous deal. Last week the club offered fellow veterans in goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and defender Sifiso Hlanti new one-year contracts.
The pair are understood to have accepted salary cuts as well in order to remain at Naturena. On the other hand, long-serving defender Eric Mathoho and midfielder Phathutshedzo Nange were not retained after their deals lapsed at the end of last month. Cole Alexander was also let go.
Billiat's Zim-based agent Godfrey Bakasa wasn't reached for comment as he never answered his phone and the messages sent to him yesterday.
Despite the uncertainty, Billiat has been turning up for training at Chiefs, although it was unclear if he had travelled with the team to Mbombela for pre-season training.
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