On Wednesday, January 14th, 2015, reigning English Premier League champion, Manchester City F.C. completed the signing of Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony for $42.5 million in total, with about $38 million in cash up front and $4.5 million in performance related add-ons. According to Bleacher Report, the move makes Bony the most expensive African footballer of all time, surpassing fellow Ivorians Didier Drogba (Marseille to Chelsea – $36.5m) and Yaya Toure (Barcelona to Manchester City – $36.5m). Bony has agreed a four-and-a-half-year deal with City through 2019 and will wear the number 14 shirt.
Following the signing, Bony stated,
It’s a great feeling for me, it’s a big honor to be here and it’s a great challenge. As a player it’s always good to be part of one of the biggest clubs in the world and it’s a good opportunity for me to be in that situation now – I’m really proud. I felt excited to wait for this moment and now it’s come, it’s fantastic.
Prior to joining Swansea City, Bony played for Eredivisie side, Vitesse Arnhem, before making about an $18m move to the English Premier League side in July 2013. In his first season with the Swans, Bony amassed 25 goals from 48 appearances in all competitions earning him four end of season awards – Players Player, Supporters’ Player, Best Newcomer of the Year, and the Premier League’s Top Goalscorer accolade.
In a report provided by BBC Sports, the transfer represents a club-record sale for Swansea City. Manchester City F.C.’s Manager, Manuel Pellegrini commented
He [Wilfried Bony] is an intelligent footballer who has skill and power. His goals record has been excellent since he came to England. He adapted very quickly to the game here and I think he will settle in at City quickly. We now have four top-class strikers and I am looking forward to seeing them work together. (http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/30767719)
According to ESPNFC, Bony will not be available to make his debut for his new club until February as he, along with City vice-captain Yaya Toure, is in Ivory Coast’s squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.