TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
Italy national team star Lorenzo Insigne has signed a pre-contract with Toronto FC in a landmark move for the club and Major League Soccer, the Reds announced Saturday. He signed a four-year deal through June 2026.
Insigne will join July 1 as a Designated Player after the expiration of his current deal with Serie A side Napoli, which he captains and first debuted for in 2010. This past summer, the 30-year-old helped lead Italy to the UEFA European Championship title.
The transformative deal, which has been reported as paying Insigne upwards of $15 million (pre-tax) per season, represents a stake-in-the-ground moment as Toronto enter a new era under head coach and sporting director Bob Bradley.
“This is a historic and exciting day for our club,” Toronto FC president Bill Manning said in a 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.”
The move sees Insigne follow in the footsteps of countryman Sebastian Giovinco, who joined Toronto in 2015 from Serie A powerhouse Juventus and was named the 2015 MLS Landon Donovan MVP alongside a host of team accolades before his January 2019 departure.
Insigne comes with arguably an even greater pedigree, having scored 114 goals and provided 95 assists in 416 appearances for Napoli while regularly competing in Champions League and Europa League games. Internationally, he has 10 goals across 53 caps that include an appearance at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“We are all looking forward to having Lorenzo join us this summer,” Bradley said in a 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.”
Toronto haven’t shied away from spending in years past, and Insigne is a significant investment to move beyond a challenging 2021 season where they missed the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs and lost the Canadian Championship final. Short-term and long-term, it's geared toward the 2017 MLS Cup winners recouping their winning ways.
One concern for Toronto is determining their DP situation, with Venezuelan winger Yeferson Soteldo and forward Jozy Altidore both linked with moves away from the club. Attacking midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo, the 2020 MLS MVP, also holds a DP spot.
Though when Insigne arrives, there’s no denying Toronto will have one of MLS’ top players – one who could sweep in a new era of transfers league-wide.