Manica Diamonds have sneaked in front of Dynamos and other competitors in the race to sign former Warriors talisman Khama Billiat, with the Mutare-based side said to have offered him a "deal that is difficult to resist."

DeMbare appeared to be leading in the race to sign the hugely talented former Warriors ace with reports last week suggesting an agreement had been reached between the two parties.

However, it appears the Harare giants have been gazumped by the Jairosi Tapera coached side.

Billiat is a known fan of Dynamos and the club was his preferred choice, but sources claim his head has been turned by the lucrative offer that has been tabled by the Manica Diamonds.

Sources told Standardsport that the diamond miners have offered the 33-year-old a staggering $20 000 in signing on fees plus a monthly salary in the range of $4000, almost triple of what Dynamos allegedly offered.

Of course, the sum is a pittance for a player who was earning almost a million rands monthly at Kaizer Chiefs, but sources said Billiat is "desperate" after failing to get suitors down South since his acrimonious departure from the Soweto giants.

"It's not a secret that Khama loves Dynamos, and it's his preferred choice," a source said.

"It's true negotiations have been going on, but Manica Diamonds have come up with an offer that is difficult for him to resist. They are prepared to fork out US$20 000 in signing on fees per season. There are at least three teams that have enquired about him, but as it stands, its Manica Diamonds that are favourite to land him. Negotiations are now at an advanced stage, and as soon as the finer details are agreed upon, Khama will fly in."

Simba Bhora are believed to be the third team that was in the race to sign the former Kaizer Chiefs player.

But the ambitious club, who were actually the first to have a contact with Billiat, were put off by the huge demands from the player.

The speedy winger is a close friend of Simba Bhora's new recruit, Walter Musona, and the two were looking to link up in Shamva.

"A popular car dealer who sponsors Simba Bhora and facilitated Musona's deal to the club was the one pushing for them to get Billiat as well.

"They were, however, not ready to pay a premium for a player who has not played competitive football for a long time now. There are also injury concerns on Billiat, which could be another reason why they didn't push so hard," another source said.

When contacted for a comment, Tapera couldn't deny or confirm or deny Billiat links, but admitted it would be a dream to have the former Warriors posterboy in his squad.

"I can't really confirm that... there are a lot of reports just flying all over the place. I can't say if they are true or not. Maybe because we have become a really big brand on the local scene, people are beginning to link us with the big boys. Like i said, I can't confirm or deny if he is coming or not. But if an opportunity to work with him arises, I would love that. Which coach would refuse to work with such a player. It's a dream of every coach to work with such a big brand."

Recent reports also suggested that CAPS United who gave Billiat his debut in the league a decade and a half ago before his move to South Africa have also joined the race for the nimblefooted forward.

No comment could be obtained from Billiat or his handlers.

The speedy winger is a free agent after refusing to renew his contract with Kaizer Chiefs at the end of June last year.

Talks over a new deal collapsed after the South Africa league giants reportedly offered him a new contract with half of what he was earning.

The former Mamelodi Sundowns star was the highest earner in the Super Diski, taking home over R850 000 a month during his five-year stay at Naturena.

He trained with SuperSport United last month with the hope of securing a contract, but negotiations broke down after coach Gavin Hunt opted against signing him.

On Friday, Hunt revealed that Billiat just disappeared on SuperSport United after just one training session.

“He trained here one morning, he was here just one morning, and he never came back, that’s all. He was here for one day, and he left, and he never came back. I wasn’t there [when Khama Billiat went to training], though, so I have never seen him. I never spoke to Billiat since at Kaizer Chiefs, years ago,” he said.

Cape Town City also held talks with the player a few months ago, but they also failed to reach an agreement.