Orlando Pirates did not lose the race for Khama Billiat’s signature to rivals Kaizer Chiefs but chose not to sign, assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena has revealed.
Pirates were reported to have been in talks with the player before he joined Amakhosi as a free agent from Mamelodi Sundowns.
Billiat was said to have been offered a signing-on fee of R2million, but rejected it, triggering speculation that Chiefs put a better deal on the table.
According to IOL, a South African news website, Mokwena said: “We had lots of talks with Khama, myself and the player. We were very close to bringing him to the black and white. But we decided to protect the change room more than anything else.”
The gaffer says the decision came after considering factors like injuries.
“The ratio between the expense, and when I say expense I am not only talking about the salary because I heard a lot of talk about that. But the expense with regards to injuries, and certain other factors – and for the profit that we thought we would get, we thought it did not make sense (to sign the player),” Mokwena added.
Meanwhile, Billiat has settled well at his new home, scoring five goals and assisted four in the thirteen appearances he made in all competitions in this season.