August 1, 2021

Ex-Manchester City striker Bony opens door to Ivory Coast return as he looks for a new club

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The 32-year-old confirmed ongoing talks between his representatives and clubs in Europe and Asia

Former Manchester City and Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony said he is ready to return to the Ivory Coast national team as he continues the search for a new club.

Bony is yet to play competitive football since November 2020 after he left Saudi Pro League club Al-Ittihad by mutual consent.

Prior to his exit, the 32-year-old forward scored five goals in 10 league outings but he is now training with League Two club Newport County to maintain his fitness levels.

After previous playing stints in Qatar, Czech Republic, the Netherlands and England, the Ivorian star disclosed his readiness to play anywhere as he confirmed ongoing negotiations with clubs in Turkey, China, Korea and Russia.

“My agent and staff, they are talking with Turkish sides, Chinese sides, Korean sides, in Russia also,” Bony told BBC Sport.

“But I leave that to them. I just focus on my training, to get fit and get ready for when the moment comes for me to move.

“We have to be grateful every time we are on the pitch. It’s a privilege so I have to enjoy every minute I have got.”

On the international scene, Bony has not played for the Ivory Coast since their quarter-final exit at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

He played four games in the tournament and he is now aiming to work with coach Patrice Beaumelle who was an assistant to Herve Renard when the Elephants won the 2015 Afcon in Equatorial Guinea.

“The team’s doing well – they have got some experienced players to guide them,” he continued.

“I am open if the coach needs me. I speak to the coach. He wants me to get back playing because he knows me – we won the cup together in 2015.

“He knows what I can give to the team. For me, the most important thing is to find a team, to get back on track and enjoy my football.”