Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony, 26, has joined Manchester City from Swansea City in a deal worth up to £28m.
Bony, who scored 20 Premier League goals in 2014 – more than Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure, Wayne Rooney and Edin Dzeko – will join City on a four and a half year deal and link up with his team mates after the conclusion of Ivory Coast’s African Cup of Nations campaign.
The Ivory Coast striker confirmed that he had spoken extensively with his international team mate Yaya Toure about a move to the Etihad which will see the powerful striker provide cover and competition for City’s other injury-hit strikers Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic.
Bony will wear the number 14 shirt and will push for a place in the City team although confirmation of City’s limited Champions League squad for the forthcoming Round of 16 games against Barcelona will not arrive until the deadline for squad registrations has passed.
The arrival of Bony, during February, should give City a physically dominating player up front, who is good in the air and a goal mouth predator.
The kind of presence that has been missing for almost year since Alvaro Negredo was injured and returned a shadow of his former self, failing to score in his last 16 appearances of the season before being loaned to Valencia in the summer who have an obligation to buy.
It’s expected that one overseas player will have to be left out to accommodate Bony in the Champions League squad unless existing players exit the squad. This was cited as one of the reasons for Negredo’s Valencia exit in the summer.
Rumours of deals for Dzeko and Jovetic have been discussed alongside a possible exit Scott Sinclair during the current transfer window.
Defender Matija Nastasic has already departed to Schalke 04 on loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent deal.
Nastasic had only played in the Community Shield this season but had an injury plagued 2013-2014 season after signing in the summer of 2012 and going on to be one of City’s players of the season the previous year.
Bony was evidently delighted with the move and spoke to the official Manchester City website:
“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.
“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.”