Lorenzo Insigne has signed for Toronto FC in one of the most stunning transfers of the season. But the way he was scouted is perhaps even more incredible than the signing itself.
The Napoli star will make his move to Major League Soccer in the summer on a free transfer, where he will make around $15 million a year. Toronto finished second bottom of the MLS overall table last season. But their fortunes could soon be set to change after making the historic deal.
The club’s president, Bill Manning, said: “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 fast-footed winger has a wonderful IQ and eye for goal. He will undoubtedly tear defences apart with his supreme ability on the ball.
He’s not the only Italian superstar to travel to the MLS in recent years. Sebastian Giovinco, Andrea Pirlo and Alessandro Nesta have all taken the league by storm. At the age of 31 when he officially moves on from Napoli, Insigne still has plenty of footballing talent left to offer.
So how were Toronto capable of securing his signature?
How Lorenzo Insigne signed for Toronto
The process of signing a new player is usually extremely long and drawn out. It takes months of sending scouts to watch them play whilst those at the top prepare a bid. But the signing of the Italian was different from the norm.
As per Canadian news outlet Sasktoday, Toronto president Manning revealed his ingenious method of setting the wheels in motion to capture the services of Lorenzo Insigne.
He admitted: “I actually went to the Transfermarkt website, and I looked up the Italian national team on what players were coming out of contract. I started writing down players that I thought were world-class, that I thought would have commercial value in this market.”
The club have signed Insigne on a four-year deal. He will officially become a part of the squad’s roster as a Designated Player. However, the Canadian side are currently waiting on a receipt of his international transfer certificate.
What is the Designated Player rule?
The Designated Player rule’s purpose is to allow clubs to sign up to three players who would usually be beyond their price range. This rule was adopted after David Beckham’s move to LA Galaxy, and teams have used it to great effect over the years. The likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thierry Henry and Kaka have all graced the league in the past decade.
The player’s Salary Budget Charge, aka their Designated Player status, is worked out via averaging all guaranteed amounts that can be paid over the term in which the player will perform for the club.
As of 2021, a Designated Player who is over 24-years-old will carry the Maximum Salary Budget Charge of ($612,500). However, if the player is signed after the secondary transfer window, the charge is then dropped to $306,250.
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