Champions League bond brings Wilfried Bony and Manchester City together
Premier League champions Manchester City have bolstered their attack ahead of the second half of the season by completing the acquisition of Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony yesterday.
The long-rumoured deal was announced yesterday for the Ivory Coast forward, who has signed a four-and-a-half year contract to join manager Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
There was no immediate official word on what the transfer fee would be, but British media reports yesterday suggested City had agreed to pay £28 million (Dh156.2m) for the forward.
Bony, 26, joined Swansea from Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem in 2013 for a club-record fee of £12 million.
He was the Premier League’s top scorer in 2014 with 20 goals. and he has scored nine times in 22 appearances this season to help Swansea enjoy a good first half of the season.
The Welsh side sit in ninth place, seven points off fourth place and a Uefa Champions League spot.
City will have to wait for Bony to make his debut for them, however, with the forward in Abu Dhabi at a training camp with his Ivory Coast teammates as they prepare for the start of the African Cup of Nations.
Bony was not in the squad for the Ivory Coast’s first friendly in Abu Dhabi, at Zayed Sports City against Nigeria, which his side won 1-0.
He could feature in tonight’s second friendly, at the same location against Sweden.
Of his move, Bony said in a statement: “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 think it’s a great decision for me. Manchester City are in the Champions League. You remember at the end of last season, I said that if I want to move it will be to a team in the competition because it’s a great tournament that I really want to play in and one that I want to win.
“It’s a motivation for me to give my maximum to be in that place.
“City are a big club with great players with a lot of experience. I believe we can do it.”
An added bonus for Bony is that he will link up with compatriot Yaya Toure, who was voted African Player of the Year last week. The striker said this would help him improve.
“I speak with Yaya every day on international duty, and I think he will help me to become a better player and a more clinical striker,” he said.
“I’ll be playing with great players here at City, and this is an opportunity for me to work hard and to take my chance.
Pellegrini said he was delighted to add Bony, who will wear number 14, to a strike force containing Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic.
“He is very difficult to mark because he is so strong,” the City manager said. “He 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.
“He will be a very good addition to our squad. We now have four top-class strikers and I am looking forward to seeing them work together.”
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Published: January 14, 2015 04:00 AM