Toronto FC sign Lorenzo Insigne from Napoli in blockbuster deal
Major League Soccer has a new superstar.
The Italian winger's TFC spell will begin July 1 following the expiration of his Napoli deal.
"Lorenzo is the kind of player you come to watch, because there's always a chance he'll do something unforgettable," Toronto FC head coach and sporting director Bob Bradley said.
"This is a historic and exciting day for our club," TFC president Bill Manning added.
Insigne, 30, has amassed 89 goals and 72 assists in 321 Serie A appearances for Napoli. He'll relinquish the captain's armband at his hometown club when he departs.
Given the struggles of Sebastian Giovinco to remain on Italy's radar while starring for Toronto FC in MLS, Insigne can't afford a drop-off in form in North America with the 2022 World Cup kicking off in November.
He's been a regular in the Azzurri setup since his debut in September 2012, appearing in each of the three major tournaments the national team has reached over that span. Insigne notably scored the winner in Italy's European Championship quarterfinal against Belgium during its triumphant run last summer.
"Insigne is fundamental for us," Italy head coach Roberto Mancini said during the group stage of that tournament. "For the role of linking things together. He's an important player for our game."
Overall, Insigne has scored 10 times in 53 appearances for Italy.
His arrival in Canada will prompt a reshuffle at BMO Field as Toronto FC's Designated Player quota is already filled by Alejandro Pozuelo, Jozy Altidore, and Yeferson Soteldo. However, Altidore's contract is reportedly set to be terminated and Soteldo's time at TFC could end after just one season.
The Insigne era will be overseen by Bradley, who's been named MLS Coach of the Year on three occasions.