Italian star Lorenzo Insigne officially signs with Toronto FC

Toronto FC President Bill Manning sits down with Sportsnet's Jesse Fuchs to talk about the signing of former Napoli captain and Italian international Lorenzo Insigne to the club

Toronto FC has officially signed Lorenzo Insigne, securing the star Italian striker in one of the most anticipated moves the club has ever made.

Insigne, who turns 31 on June 4, will complete his current season with Napoli before joining Toronto FC on a four-year deal after his current contract expires on July 1.

He will be added to the roster as a Designated Player pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate, the team said.

“This is a historic and exciting day for our club,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning in a statement. “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.”

A captain with Napoli, his acquisition represents a swing for the fences for a Toronto team looking to return to its winning ways after a dismal 6-18-10 season in 2021.

The Italian, a Naples native who made his first-team debut with Napoli in 2009, comes with a gilt-edged resume.

Insigne started for Italy in its Euro 2020 final win over England and had two goals at the tournament. He made his debut for Italy in 2012 and has 10 goals in 53 appearances, also playing for his country at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016.

TFC has also been linked with 28-year-old Torino striker Andrea Belotti, another Italian international whose club contract is expiring this summer.

At five-foot-four and 130 pounds, Insigne is small but packs a punch. He can play in the attack across the field, but is often deployed as a left winger where he can use his speed, ball skills and powerful shot to great effect.

Champions in 2017 and runners-up in 2016 and 2019, Toronto finished 26th out of 27 teams last year. The vast majority of the franchise’s season-ticket base opted to forgo what little of the season that was played in Toronto, put off by the pandemic and the team’s woeful on-field performance.

Instead they put their hopes — and ticket investment — in the 2022 season.

— With files from the Canadian Press.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.