Just when we though Napoli were done with frustrating agent sagas this summer, here comes another one: Lorenzo Insigne’s agent is airing dirty laundry after contract talks with Napoli stalled out, making bold claims that he’s going to force a transfer for his client.
“In our last meeting, we didn't like some of the answers that the club gave us,” said agent Fabio Andreotti on Monday. “Lorenzo made a decision with his heart, but a player's professional life doesn't last forever, and when other clubs are willing to reward you financially, then you've got to get onto the market.”
Now, this far from the first time that Andreotti has gotten caught talking out of his ass when it comes to his biggest client — not literally speaking, obviously — and this is no exception. By all accounts from various news sources, negotiations have been slow to progress between Insigne and Napoli for a new extension. While that would obviously be frustrating for Andreotti and Insigne, it’s understandable from Napoli’s perspective: they’re in the middle of trying to acquire multiple players, just finished an extension with Marek Hamsik, and are trying to extend Kalidou Koulibaly before he forces his way out.
Cristiano Giuntoli may be a wizard, but even he can only do so many things at once.
At the core of the contract “dispute” is reported as a million-euro gap in wages. Andreotti wants €3.5 million per season for Insigne, while Napoli’s current offer is believed to be €2.5 million. Both numbers are a significant raise from Insigne’s current contract — which pays him between €1.2 million and €1.5 million per season depending on your source — though obviously Andreotti would prefer his client get the larger number.
That is, obviously, not an insurmountable amount of money to get past in negotiations. Especially with Gonzalo Higuain’s club-high wages off the books, Napoli have the space in their budget to make it work. There’s no need for dramatics from Insigne’s agent, despite his propensity to dial things up to 11 — Insigne is one of Napoli’s best players and a native son, on top of being extra-valuable as a club-trained player by UEFA’s regulations for their Champions League squad. Napoli will get this deal done, there’s just no rush, not with three more seasons on Insigne’s deal and those aforementioned other priorities to deal with.
So relax, everyone. Neither Arsenal nor Chelsea nor Paris Saint-Germain, the three most-mooted clubs as destinations for the Little General since the quotes were released, will be acquiring Insigne any time soon. He’s staying at Napoli.