Belfast Telegraph

Bony delighted with City move

Manchester City have completed the transfer of Swansea striker Wilfried Bony for a £25million fee.

Bony's move was confirmed by both Barclays Premier League clubs in synchronised statements on their club websites on Wednesday afternoon, although the Ivory Coast Football Federation had earlier announced the transfer on Twitter.

The 26-year-old is currently on international duty with the Ivory Coast ahead of the African Nations Cup, which starts in Equatorial Guinea this weekend and could prevent his City debut until the middle of next month.

Bony has signed a four-and-a-half year contract at the Etihad Stadium and will wear the number 14 shirt. His fee could rise as high as £28million.

He joins the English champions after scoring 34 goals in 70 appearances for Swansea following his £12m move from Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem in the summer of 2013.

"It's a great feeling for me, it's a big honour to be here and it's a great challenge," Bony told the official Manchester City website.

"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."

Bony scored 20 Premier League goals in 2014, more than any other player, but promised there is much more to come from him after linking up with his Ivory Coast colleague Yaya Toure at club level.

"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," Bony 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.

"The Premier League is a tough league - my power is to always be in the box and in the right position.

"I'm always working hard to be there to score the goals and to improve."

City manager Manuel Pellegrini said he was delighted to be adding the muscular Bony to a strikeforce which already includes Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic.

"He is very difficult to mark because he is so strong," Pellegrini told the official club website.

"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."

Bony's departure means Swansea have almost doubled their transfer record for selling a player, the previous highest fee being the £15m Liverpool paid for Wales midfielder Joe Allen in 2012.

The Ivorian took time to settle in South Wales and previous Swansea manager Michael Laudrup often left him out of the team due to concerns over the player's fitness.

But Bony's double in a 3-2 defeat to Manchester City on New Year's Day 2014 was the start of a prolific year and he ended up winning four awards at Swansea's end-of-season function.

"Everyone at Swansea City would like to thank Wilfried for his superb service to the club, and wish him well for the future," said a statement on the Swansea website.

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