Toronto FC have agreed a deal with Lorenzo Insigne that will see the Euro 2020 winner link up with them as a free agent once his contract at Napoli comes to a close, GOAL can confirm.
The 30-year-old forward is set to hit free agency in the summer and is ready to take on a new challenge after spending his entire career to date on the books of his home-town club.
Insigne has been linked with various teams across Europe as his terms in Naples run down, but the Italy international will now be spreading his wings on July 1 as he prepares to head for Canada.
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What is the deal for Insigne?
The diminutive frontman first linked up with Napoli in 2006 and graduated through their academy system before reaching the first-team fold.
Early loan spells in his senior career saw important minutes taken in, allowing Insigne to start making his mark in Naples.
He has made 414 appearances for the Serie A title hopefuls to date, with 114 goals registered – leaving him fourth on their all-time appearance and scoring charts.
The time has come for him to leave a comfort zone in Italy, with Toronto presenting Insigne with a five-year contract that is worth around €11.5 million (£9m/$13m) a year – with bonuses to be added on top of that.
An agreement between club and player is expected to be officially announced on January 10.
What has been said?
While Insigne will be raring to get going in MLS, questions have been asked of his decision to head out of Europe.
Fellow countryman Sebastian Giovinco – who is Toronto FC’s all-time leading goalscorer – told IFTV of his experience in swapping life in Italy with Juventus for that in North America: “Of course, for the league and for TFC it will be amazing, I hope they can make it happen.
“There is a good life in Toronto but if you want to talk about soccer, I cannot say it is the same. They are starting to improve but they are not on the same level.”
Giovinco added on international ambitions for a man that has 53 caps to his name: “I can only say on my side what happened to me. When I came here, I left the national team. That's the reality.
“Of course, maybe for him, it will be different because he won the Euros. Maybe he will talk with Mr Mancini and maybe he doesn’t even leave the national team. So maybe for him, nothing changes.”