Bay FC complete most expensive transfer in women's football with Kundananji. GETTY IMAGES

The Zambian striker, on loan from Real Madrid, will play in the United States League for a new franchise. Bay FC will pay €787,000 ($890,000) for the 23-year-old, according to ESPN and Marca. Her contract runs until 2027, with an option for a further season.

Bay FC, a new franchise in the US Women's Professional Soccer League, announced the signing of Zambian striker Racheal Kundananji from Real Madrid on Tuesday in what has been described as the most expensive transfer in women's football. 

The San Jose side did not reveal how much they spent on the transfer, but American broadcaster ESPN and Spanish newspaper Marca put the figure at €787,000 ($890,000). That figure is almost double the €488,000 ($553,000) plus €54,200 ($61,500) in variables that English club Chelsea agreed to pay Levante for the services of Colombian international Mayra Ramirez in January.

Real Madrid had included a hefty release clause in her contract after extending it until 2025. The figure was in excess of €754,000 ($855,000). This is a very high figure in women's football. Racheal Kundananji was being watched by many of the world's top teams, and her club knew it. 

Her rise from modest Spanish club Eibar to Real Madrid has taken her to what has always been regarded as the best league in the world since the inception of women's football. Racheal Kundananji will command one of the highest salaries in the league. Kundananji, 23, will join two other world-renowned footballers in Bay FC's forward line: Venezuela's Deyna Castellanos and Nigeria's Asisat Oshoala, both of whom have played in the Spanish League. 

Kundananji playing against Spain at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup. GETTY IMAGES
Kundananji playing against Spain at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup. GETTY IMAGES

They also come from two of the biggest clubs in European football. Castellanos, a former forward from Atletico joined from Manchester City in January. Oshoala, a six-time African Player of the Year, was signed from Barcelona.

Kundananji has signed a contract with the Americans until 2027, with an option for another season. Bay FC general manager Lucy Rushton was quoted by AFP as saying: "We are delighted to add Racheal to our squad. She is a huge talent with dynamic attacking qualities and an incredible physical profile. She has achieved so much for both club and country." Bay FC is based in the San Francisco Bay area of California and plays at the 18,000-capacity PlayPal Park in San Jose.

One of the most versatile and productive players in the the world, she is also a prolific goalscorer. At her former club, Real Madrid, she was one of the competition's top scorers. She joined the Spanish club in August 2022 and scored 25 goals in her first season.The Zambian has added eight more in the 14 games she has played this season before moving to America. She represented her country at the 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.