NAPLES, Italy — Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne signed a new five-year contract on Saturday, tying him to his hometown club until 2022.
Insigne, who progressed from the youth team, has long said he wanted to spend his entire career at Napoli but contract negotiations lasted for months.
"I’m really happy, my dream as a child has come true," the 25-year-old Insigne said in a press conference alongside Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis. "I always dreamed of wearing the Napoli shirt and now I hope to never take it off and win important trophies with this shirt. I grew up in De Laurentiis’ Napoli and I have become a man here as well as a footballer."
Insigne, who spent time on loan at Foggia and Pescara from 2010-2012, has scored 16 goals for Napoli this season in his most prolific campaign for the club.
"I have grown up at Napoli but, if someone told me a few years ago that I would become a symbol of Napoli, I wouldn’t have believed them," Insigne said. "But now I hope that in five years’ time there will be another renewal because my dream is to play my whole life in this shirt."
Insigne’s parents were also present at the press conference.
"I’m happy also for my family and for my father who accompanies me every day to training," Insigne said.
No financial details were given of the Italy forward’s new contract but reports say Insigne’s salary has increased from 1.2 million euros ($1.3 million) a year to 4.5 million ($4.8 million).
"I’m glad Insigne has become a symbol of Napoli," De Laurentiis said. "Lorenzo has grown with us showing all his attachment to this shirt and to his roots. He has always lived with love and passion for this region and wants to become a legend at Napoli.
"It’s not a feeling that everyone has, but it’s the feeling that we want from our players. Keeping people against their will doesn’t help anyone. You must love Naples otherwise you better go. No one forces anyone to play here … At Napoli we want symbols who love and fight for this shirt. And Lorenzo is one of our symbols."
Napoli is third in Serie A, two points behind Roma in the fight for second spot and automatic Champions League qualification.