Swansea City 'living with the big boys' - Leighton James

Wilfried Bony in action for Vitesse Arnhem

Leighton James says Swansea City are "living with the big boys" as they prepare to break their transfer fee record to sign striker Wilfried Bony.

Swansea are close to buying Bony, 24, from Dutch top-flight side Vitesse Arnhem for a club record fee of £13m.

The Welsh club broke their transfer record in August 2012 when they

"This is called living with the big boys," said James, the former Swansea and Wales winger.

"I think we have got to this stage at the Liberty... nobody is going to get another Michu.

"It is not going to happen again, where you pick up an absolute bargain.

"There are once-in-a-lifetime deals that come your way. Fortunately, it came our way.

"Bony now is £12 or £13 million and that is the market value of strikers of his calibre."

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup signed striker Michu for £2m from Spanish side Rayo Vallecano last summer and called it "the bargain of the season" after the Spaniard led them to Capital One Cup success and a ninth-placed finish in the Premier League.

Bony, 24, is an Ivory Coast international and scored 31 goals in 30 league appearances for his club in the Dutch league last season.

His arrival would take some of the pressure for goals off Michu, who scored 22 times for the club in 2012-13.

Bony was named Dutch footballer for his efforts in the same season and had spells at Issia Wazi, in his homeland, and Sparta Prague before joining Vitesse Arnhem in January 2011.

"To compete in the Premiership, in Europe and the domestic cups, which brought us real success, you have to have more players of this kind of calibre," said James.

Bony would be Swansea's seventh permanent summer signing.

They have also recruited Jonjo Shelvey from Liverpool, Alejandro Pozuelo from Real Betis, Jose Canas from Real Betis, Jordi Amat from Espanyol, Gregor Zabret from NK Domzale and Alex Gogic from Olympiakos.

Midfielder Jonathan de Guzman has also rejoined the club on a season-long loan from Villarreal.

The investment in the squad is a show of support for manager Michael Laudrup, who had said the Liberty Stadium side would have to strengthen for the 2013-14 campaign to build on last season's success.

Swansea won the Capital One Cup - beating Liverpool and Chelsea on the way to lifting the trophy - to qualify for the Europa League and finished in the top half of the Premier League.

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