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Why records will fall again: The transfer window that redefined player valuations

Photo Copyright Kirby Lee for USA TODAY Sports

If you subscribe to the cliché that women’s soccer is a collective rocket ship, consider the January 2024 transfer window to be the arms race that set the future in motion.

Transfer spending increased 165% year over year despite a nearly identical volume of transfers, according to FIFA, and that number did not even appear to include the world-record fee of €735,000 (plus $75,000 in performance-based contingencies) paid by National Women’s Soccer League expansion side Bay FC for 23-year-old Zambian forward Racheal Kundananji, a move announced a few hours after FIFA’s report.

The transfer market is being redefined in front of our eyes and there is no set formula for player valuations. This is ground zero.

Kundananji’s move from Madrid CFF to Bay FC sets a new bar, but it featured a unique set of circumstances including an uncommonly large release clause and a buyer, Bay FC, that was playing with house money that would soon expire. Still, Bay FC general manager told The Equalizer that she expects the record to be broken again in the summer.

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