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Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne officially signs pre-contract with Toronto FC

Major League Soccer club Toronto FC have announced they will sign Lorenzo Insigne on a pre-contract in July.

The 30-year-old Italian will join the Canadian outfit on a four-year deal that will see him earn a reported $15 million per year, making him the highest-paid player in MLS history.  

Insigne will be added to TFC’s roster as a designated player pending the receipt of his international transfer certificate and will join the Reds once the Serie A season has finished.

The Naples native will end his 12-year spell at Napoli, where he amassed 114 goals and 95 assists across 416 appearances in all competitions.

The forward also has 53 caps for Italy and was a part of last summer’s European Championship-winning squad.

“This is a historic and exciting day for our club,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning.

“Lorenzo is a world-class attacking player in the prime of his career. He was a European champion with Italy and has performed on the biggest stages during his club career with Napoli. 

“Lorenzo has the talent to change games. He plays the game with joy and passion, and our fans and supporters are going to love watching him as a member of our team.” 

Football Today verdict

Toronto FC finished second last out of 27 teams last season despite having won the MLS Cup in 2017 and finishing as runners-up in 2016 and 2019. 

The Canadian side, who netted just 39 goals in 34 games last season, will turn to their marquee signing to improve those numbers.

Napoli will lose one of their most valuable players for free after Insigne refused to take a substantial pay cut to remain with the Parthenopeans, who are currently third in the Serie A table.

Insigne’s relationship with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis developed significant tension throughout the ongoing contract talks.

Many believe his departure was primarily due to De Laurentiis’ attempt to impose his control over the club and their contract negotiations.

Insigne’s agent, Vincenzo Pisacane, previously revealed the contract offered to his client and expressed his frustrations with the negotiations.

“An offer has been made that is not considered acceptable, not considered appropriate,” Pisacane said. “But it doesn’t mean we don’t talk to each other anymore.

“I have read several times that Lorenzo has asked for the moon, but no request has ever been made. He feels Napoli as part of him – he perhaps holds Napoli excessively close. I struggle to find a player more attached to the shirt.”

Napoli supporters have become accustomed to these situations as Insigne’s departure contrasts the exits of former Napoli players Marek Hamšík, Arkadiusz Milik and José Callejón.

For most football fans, it is a shame to see Insigne leave Serie A for the MLS at the age of 30. Time will tell whether Toronto’s investment pays off.

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