Bay FC sign Racheal Kundananji from Madrid CFF for world-record fee

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) side Bay FC have signed Zambia forward Racheal Kundananji from Madrid CFF for a world-record fee. 

A source with knowledge of negotiations, who is granted anonymity to protect relationships, confirmed to The Athletic that the fee for the 23-year-old is €735,000 ($785,000).

She has signed a contract until 2027 with the option of a further year. 

Bay FC general manager, Lucy Rushton, said: “We are delighted to add Racheal to our group. She is a tremendous talent with dynamic attacking qualities and an incredible physical profile who has produced for both club and country.

“Racheal has a composure in-front of goal and a natural ability to score with different types of finishes and from various locations. We believe she will continue to grow and develop at our club, showcasing her skillset and adding to the array of exciting attacking talent we have here.”

Bay FC is a newly established team in the NWSL, set to embark on their inaugural season in 2024.

Kundananji, meanwhile, has scored 33 goals in 43 Liga F games for Madrid.

At international level, Kundananji showcased her talent by both playing and scoring in the 2023 Women’s World Cup. She also boasts an impressive record of 10 goals in 18 appearances for Zambia.

She becomes the first African player to break a world transfer record.

Chelsea broke the women’s transfer record last month after signing Colombia international striker Mayra Ramirez from Levante. The Spanish side said that the deal amounts to €450,000 ($482,000, £382,800) fixed, plus a further €50,000 in variable amounts based on goals that the club expects to be met, one of which requires Ramirez to play 30 per cent of the matches.

England midfielder Keira Walsh previously broke the women’s transfer record in 2022 following her move from Manchester City to Barcelona. 

Kundananji joined Madrid from Eibar in August 2022, having previously had stints at Kazakhstan club BIIK Shymkent and Zambian side Indeni Roses. 

The women’s game saw a record spend for a January window of $2.1m. This marked the second record-breaking transfer window in a row following the $3m spent last summer.

In February, Bay FC also completed the signings of Arsenal defender Jen Beattie and Asisat Oshoala from Barcelona.

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