Bay FC smash women’s transfer record with $860k signing of Kundananji

February 14 – Zambia’s Racheal Kundananji has become the most expensive women’s footballer in history after joining Bay FC from Madrid CFF for $860,000 (£685,000) on a four-year deal.

Bay FC will make their NWSL debut this year.

The £685,000 fee smashed the previous record of £400,000 – set by English midfielder Keira Walsh’s move from Manchester City to FC Barcelona in 2022. It also marks the first time since 2020 that the record fee has not involved a buying or selling club from England.

The escalation of transfer fees in women’s football is evident in this latest record deal being a huge 71% increase on the deal for Walsh, less than 18 months later.

Kundananji scored 33 goals in 43 Liga F games for Madrid CCF, quickly becoming one of the world’s most sought-after strikers at the age of 23. She also featured in the 2023 Women’s World Cup, scoring once in a 3-1 victory over Costa Rica as her nation exited at the group stage.

“People in Zambia will be surprised but they will be so happy,” Kundananji told BBC Sport Africa.

“I want to give the [Bay FC] fans what they want – to enjoy the games, to enjoy seeing me playing and scoring.”

Kundananji joins Nigeria striker Asisat Oshoala and former Arsenal defender Jen Beattie at Bay FC after both players signed deals with the club earlier this month.

San Jose-based Bay FC will open their NWSL campaign against Angel City on March 16.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1721460693labto1721460693ofdlr1721460693owedi1721460693sni@g1721460693niwe.1721460693yrrah1721460693