LONDON (Reuters) – Swansea City signed top scoring striker Wilfried Bony from Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem on Thursday in a record 12 million pound transfer for the Premier League club.
Swansea confirmed on their website (www.swanseacity.net) the Ivorian international had signed a four-year deal that smashed the club record 5.5 million pounds they paid Valencia for Pablo Hernandez last year.
“I believe it’s the right step for me; the perfect move. I had a lot of offers from all across the world, including England, France, Ukraine, Russia and the UAE,” Bony, nicknamed “Daddy Cool” in the Netherlands, was quoted as saying on the website.
“But I chose Swansea because it is a good club with a corresponding style to the Dutch way, a great manager and, of course, playing in the Premier League.”
The 24-year-old was top scorer in the Dutch League last season with 31 goals and his arrival is a big statement of intent for the Welsh club, who will play in the Europa League this season after winning the League Cup, their first major honour.
Swansea, who finished ninth in the Premier League under the management of Michael Laudrup last season, have kept a tight rein on finances in the past and had not spent more than a million pounds on a player until three years ago.
“I don’t think we can quite believe the size of the bid we are talking about,” midfielder Leon Britton, who helped Swansea win promotion in 2011, told Wales Online. “Even 5.55m twice last year was a big deal for us.”
Swansea, who are in the Netherlands on a pre-season-tour, have already signed three Spanish players for the coming campaign – Alejandro Pozuelo and Jose Canas from Real Betis and Jordi Amat from Espanyol.
They also splashed out 5.0 million pounds last week on prising midfielder Jonjo Shelvey from Liverpool.