TORONTO, Canada—For weeks now, reports have linked S.S.C. Napoli winger Lorenzo Insigne to Toronto FC—a move which would be regarded as one of the most significant in Major League Soccer history—and the interest is real.
According to Transfermarkt US, the 30 year old Insigne is valued at over $52 million USD, an eye-opening sum. Should he move to MLS, he’d easily be the highest-valued player in the league. And although he’s beginning to get up there in age, he’s still contributing at a very high clip.
In 17 Serie A and Europa League matches this season, the pacey left winger has registered five goals and six assists. In 441 career matches for Napoli, (essentially the only club he’s ever known), Insigne has scored 114 times and added 91 assists.
With his contract expiring in the summer, the Italian playmaker has been unable to come to terms with Napoli on an extension, with reports stating that the Serie A side has been offering Insigne only half of his current demand.
With the two sides at a clear impasse, Waking The Red can confirm that Toronto FC have swooped in and made an offer for Insigne, one that would see the Italian international become the highest-paid player in club history.
Multiple sources have indicated to Waking The Red that a deal between Insigne and Toronto is near the finish line, although, there’s some obstacles still to overcome before the move can be finalized.
Most notably, how does Toronto FC plan to free up one of three designated player spots for Insigne? As it stands, the club has all three DPs under contract heading in 2022: Alejandro Pozuelo, Jozy Altidore, and Yeferson Soteldo.
But reports have indicated that Jozy Altidore is already on his way out of Toronto, whether that be via a transfer or an offseason buyout. Altidore has one year remaining on his contract and has not lived up to his designated player status for the past two seasons.
Though perhaps the more interesting case is Yeferson Soteldo. Waking The Red has been told that it’s very unlikely Soteldo, who was purchased from Brazilian side Santos FC in April, returns to Toronto after just one season with the club.
Although the 24-year-old Venezuelan performed well while on the pitch, registering three goals and a team-high 10 assists, off the field, he was seen as a disturbance to the club’s overall culture.
There have been reports that several teams in South America are interested in Soteldo’s services.
Stay tuned TFC fans, this offseason is just getting started.