TORONTO, Canada—Toronto FC are back.
Toronto announced today that the club has officially signed Italian national team star Lorenzo Insigne to a four-year Designated Player deal that will begin on July 1, 2022.
Yours truly was the first to report the deal on December 28, 2021.
Toronto FC and Lorenzo Insigne have agreed to terms, per sources. He'll join TFC this summer— Michael Singh (@MichaelSingh94) December 28, 2021
Insigne, 30, will become the highest paid player in Major League Soccer history. According to The Athletic, he will make approximately $15 million a year before taxes, more than two times the previous league record (Zlatan Ibrahimovic - $7.2 million a year). The reportedly also holds a six-month option to extend Insigne at the end of his deal.
“This is a historic and exciting day for our club,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning in a press release. “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.”
Insigne will join Toronto FC after spending most of his career with Serie A side Napoli, where he served as the club captain since 2019. In 11 seasons with Napoli, he made a combined 416 appearances, scoring 114 goals with 95 assists across all competitions (Serie A, Coppa Italia, Super Cup, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League), winning three titles including: Super Cup (2014/2015) and Coppa Italia (2013/2014 and 2019/2020).
“We are all looking forward to having Lorenzo join us this summer,” said Toronto FC Head Coach and Sporting Director Bob Bradley in a press release. “His ability to create chances for himself and his teammates is special. Having watched him for many years, I also know he’s also a player who works for the team. Lorenzo is the kind of player you come to watch, because there’s always a chance, he’ll do something unforgettable.”
Born in Naples, internationally, Insigne has earned 53 caps and scored 10 goals with the Italian National Team (Azzurri). In 2021, he won the European Championship after winning 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out against England.
In order to accommodate the signing of Insigne, Toronto FC will need to shed one of their current designated player contracts from the books before the Italian winger joins in July. According to multiple sources, long-time TFC legend Jozy Altidore will not be returning to the Reds as a designated player next season, while Yeferson Soteldo is also being shopped by the club. Alejandro Pozuelo is the only DP that will certainly return next season.
But that’s a problem for another day. For now, rejoice TFC fans. The new face of the franchise is finally here.
Welcome to Toronto, Lorenzo.