Wilfried Bony has completed his big-money move from Swansea to Barclays Premier League, BPL champions Manchester City.
The Ivorian striker, who is on international duty at the African Cup of Nations, joins Manuel Pellegrini's side for an initial fee in the region of £25million with another £3m in add-ons over four years. Bony, 26, has agreed a four-and-a-half year deal. He will wear the number 14 jersey worn previously by Javi Garcia.
''It’s a great feeling for me, it’s a big honour 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,'' said Bony.
He also expressed excitement for having the opportunity to play in the UEFA Champions League, ''I felt excited to wait for this moment and now it’s come, it’s fantastic. I think it’s a great decision for me, Manchester City is 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 is a big club with great players with a lot of experience; I believe we can do it.''
Earlier, the Ivory Coast Football Federation confirmed the deal on their Twitter feed. Bony will link up with Ivory Coast team-mate Yaya Toure, and the striker believes he will make him a better player, ''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, 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,'' Bony enthused.
Swansea had been locked in talks with the BPL champions over the structuring of the transfer, with City having to satisfy Financial Fair Play criteria. Bony will earn £100,000-a-week which is close to double what the striker, who scored 34 goals in 70 games at Swansea, earned at the Liberty Stadium.
Crucially, the deal removed a £19m release clause that was included in the original deal. Liverpool had been interested but are understood to have been put off by his wage demands.
City boss Pellegrini added: ''He is very difficult to mark because he is so strong. 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.''