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A new record transfer fee in women's football: Racheal Kundananji

Zambian forward Kundananji becomes most expensive female footballer in transfer to NWSL side Bay FC

National Women's Soccer League side Bay FC announced the record-breaking signing of Zambian star Racheal Kundananji, on a 4-year contract earlier this week. The forward joins the recently established Californian side for $860,000 (£685,000), which makes her the most expensive player in the women's game. She also becomes the first African player, male or female, to break a record transfer fee.

She departs Liga F after being exceptional for Madrid CFF; helping them secure their highest ever finish last season, with 25 goals in 29 league games. Her excellence in front of goal secured the side some important results in this campaign, including a clinical brace to see victory over the ever-dominant Barcelona. She has an additional 8 goals in 14 league matches for the side this season.

For Zambia, she has netted 10 goals in 18 games, and was a key talent in their squad in the 2023 Women's World Cup, where she also found the back of the net.

The forward will join former Barcelona forward Asisat Oshoala and former Arsenal defender Jen Beattie at the NWSL expansion side.

Bay FC are to pay an initial $785,000 for Kundananji, with a further $75,000 in add-ons, which flattens the previous world transfer fee, which was set at £400,000 when midfield talent Keira Walsh signed for FC Barcelona from Manchester City in 2022.

The signing also soars past Mayra Ramirez's transfer to the WSL, which was set to break Walsh's record once add-ons were paid; she joined Chelsea from Levante for $450,000 (£384,000), with add-ons up to $50,000 (£42,600).

Kundananji's move reflects the increasing spending in the women's game; FIFA have reported that transfer fees totalled $2.1m in January, increasing 165.5% since the previous January, despite the number of transfers rising by just 0.3%.

As ever, big things are pending in the women's game! The NWSL is set to return on March 16th, where Bay FC will make their debut in the competition.

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