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Bay FC sign forward Racheal Kundananji on reported world-record fee

TOPSHOT - Zambia's forward #17 Racheal Kundananji celebrates scoring her team's third goal during the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women's World Cup Group C football match between Costa Rica and Zambia at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on July 31, 2023. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP) (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Bay FC has signed forward Racheal Kundananji from Madrid CFF on a reported world-record transfer fee.

The Zambian forward joined Madrid in 2022, where she scored 33 goals in 43 Liga F games. The 23-year-old joins Bay FC on contract until 2027, with an option to extend through 2028.

She’s also spent time with Kazakhstani club BIIK Kazygurt. She helped the team win back-to-back championships in 2019 and 2020 before joining SD Eibar in 2022.

She also stars internationally for the Zambian national team, where she has 10 goals through 18 appearances — including one at last summer’s Women’s World Cup.

“We are delighted to add Racheal to our group,” said Bay FC General Manager Lucy Rushton. “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.”

Her transfer fee sits at €735,000 – or $788,000 USD on Tuesday’s conversion rate. An additional $75,000 could be added on in performance add-ons, according to The Equalizer. It smashes the previous record, set mere weeks ago when Chelsea paid €450,000 and €50,000 in add-ons for Colombian forward Mayra Ramirez from Levante.

It also more than doubles the previous NWSL transfer record. Kundananji’s contract with Bay FC is worth over $2 million – and $2.5 million over five years when including things like paid housing. It makes her one of the league’s highest paid players.

“I don’t know how, I just fell in love with the team and it just came as a surprise … There were so many teams that have come my way, but for this team, it was so different,” Kundananji told ESPN. “For me, I just want to have a new experience and it’s been my dream to do it in the United States of America. I just fell in love with the team and I would love to achieve more goals with Bay FC.”

Kundananji joins a number of massive signings by the Bay in recent weeks, with Asisat Oshoala and Deyna Castellanos being among the team’s additions.