Orlando Pirates bid for Billiat

ZIMBABWE Warriors star Khama Billiat has emerged as a surprise target for South African giants Orlando Pirates, who have officially made their offer for the Ajax Cape Town midfielder.

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Pirates join Mamelodi Sundowns in their quest for the Zimbabwe star, as they seek to build formidable sides for the 2013-2014 Absa Premiership campaign.

Pirates are also taking part in the group stages of the Caf Champions League and are allowed to register new players, hence their intentions in making sure that Billiat joins fellow Zimbabwe Takesure Chinyama at the Soweto giants. Soccer Laduma reported yesterday that Billiat has one year left to run on his contract with Ajax and the club has to make a decision on whether they will hold on to him or cash in on his sale.

However, with Mabhuti Khenyeza’s 12-month ban from all football activities under the auspices of the PSL, the Cape side may be reluctant to sell Billiat.

Meanwhile Chippa United striker Benjani Mwaruwari could be a target for Bid Wits in the off-season, Soccer Laduma reported yesterday. The Zimbabwean was linked with a move to SuperSport United back in 2012 after returning from overseas, but in the end Gavin Hunt was unable to land his man as he ended up in the Mother City.

With the former Matsatsantsa coach now on the bench at the Clever Boys, he could consider making another move for the former Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers forward.

Hunt has already shown that he values experience upfront over age, which was evident with his faith in Sibusiso Zuma at United, and as long as you can do the job, you can still fit into his team. It is unlikely that Benjani will play National First Division football, and because he only signed a one-year contract with the Chilli Boys, he will be available on a free transfer.

The news has not been confirmed by the club or player yet, but the Siya crew will keep an eye out for any developments.

Meanwhile, in an effort to make a quick return to top-flight football, Black Leopards have hired Kosta Papic as head coach to replace fired Zimbabwean mentor Sunday Chidzambwa.

Lidoda Duvha showed their seriousness by signing the Serbian — who previously coached Soweto giants Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

Papic landed in South Africa on Wednesday afternoon and the deal was signed and sealed the same night. Papic will be at Lidoda Duvha for one season with an option to renew.

“Life in the First Division is tough and a coach of this magnitude does not come cheap.

“However, because we are an ambitious club and want to achieve, we had to go with the best,” Leopards chairman David Thidiela told Kick Off.

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