Everton are reported to have made contact with Napoli over an ambitious move for one of Serie A’s biggest stars, two sources have confirmed.
The player in question is Lorenzo Insigne, who has been a Napoli player for his entire professional career, some early loan spells aside. Now 30 years old, he has earned his place in their club folklore. However, they have been worrying about his time with them potentially ending.
Only one year remains on Insigne’s contract and the two parties are yet to come to an agreement. The club captain wants a payrise, whereas Napoli want him to lower his salary.
It has led to a delicate situation, which other clubs may seek to exploit. For example, Tottenham were said to have made an “important” offer recently after making contact with his agent.
Insigne was a key member of the Italy squad that won Euro 2020 and his stock has rarely been higher.
Now, Radio Kiss Kiss journalist Ciro Venerato claims he learned ‘just a few minutes ago’ that Everton have made an approach for Insigne.
That’s a claim backed up by Sky Italia, who claims Everton, Zenit and Inter Milan have all sounded Napoli out over a deal.
“Real interest for Insigne comes from Everton, where Rafa Benitez is, and from Zenit St Petersburg. It’s necessary to verify how much Inter can do seriously. Inter made it clear that they were there with transversal messages,” the journalist said via Calcio Napoli 24, cited by Sport Witness.
Sport Witness do, however, doubt the validity of Everton’s chances. They believe the prospects of the Toffees being able to afford a player of Insigne’s value could be beyond them.
Furthermore, they believe it’s highly unlikely that Insigne will leave Naples, let alone Italy, casting further doubts over their prospects.
Still, with Benitez having coached Insigne during his time in Serie A, there at least remains that connection.
Insigne left with three options
Insigne currently earns €5m per season and wants an increase on that, whereas Napoli want to reduce their wage bill.
Therefore, Corriere Dello Sport point to three possible outcomes for Insigne’s future. First, all parties could find a compromise so he can sign a new deal. Alternatively, he could stay at the club and leave on a free transfer next summer.
But the last option would be for him to leave Napoli permanently for the first time in his career. In doing so, he may end up in the Premier League.
He scored 19 goals in all competitions last season, his second-best tally in a Napoli shirt. His form continued into the Euros, where he started six of Italy’s seven games, culminating in lifting the trophy.