Giovinco warns Insigne that he could fall off the radar if he joins the TFC

“If you’re open to leaving these things behind, then it’s an experience that I suggest to everyone,” said Atomic Ant.

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Atomic Ant have made an attempt to crawl out under some controversial statements he gave this week to the Italian media about playing for Toronto FC in Major League Soccer.

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Former TFC star Sebastian Giovinco warned Italian national team colleague Lorenzo Insigne that if he joins the TFC next season, he could “fall off the radar” in terms of representing Italy in international play.

“It depends on what you want,” Giovinco said Corriere dello Sport , when asked what Insigne should expect if he joins the TFC in the 2022 season. “I felt good on a human level, in a city where it is easy to live. (But) professionally, consider that you can fall off the radar. I lost the national team and visibility. If you are open to leaving these things behind, then it is an experience that I suggest to everyone. ”

It told TFC President Bill Manning Toronto Sun. that he spoke with Giovinco’s agent about the Atomic Mars’ comments in Corriere dello Sport , and Manning said the agent “believes his words have been distorted by the media during the translation from Italian into English.”

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Still, during his time with TFC, Giovinco complained that he felt he had fallen off the radar of the Italian national team when he played away from Europe.

Giovinco joined the Reds in 2014 from Juventus and played in Toronto for four seasons, scoring the top 83 goals while helping guide the TFC to the MLS Cup title in 2017. Giovinco switched to Al Hilal in the Saudi league in 2018 for four seasons but is now a free agent and has twice spoken to TFC management about returning. He has reportedly asked for too much money, even though the two sides have kept in touch.

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Giovinco has a residence in GTA. But while his time with Toronto was unique from a productivity standpoint and he became a huge fan favorite, Giovinco said the switch to MLS resulted in him no longer being considered for the Italian national team from 2016 onwards. Insigne, 30, is a fixture on the Azzurri and is helping Italy win the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship.

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Several sources in Italy report that TFC has made a huge offer to Insigne. Earlier this week, the Italian media SportMediaset reported that an agreement has been reached and that the high-scoring winger, who has scored 89 goals for Napoli and 10 for Italy, will join the Reds in 2022.

The TFC front office will not comment on Insigne. In return, the TFC management has not shot the announcements that they have made a huge offer to the Italian star. According to reports, Insigne could earn up to $ 12 million Cdn per season if he accepts Toronto’s offer. Los Angeles FC striker Carlos Vela was the highest paid player in the MLS last season ($ 6.3 million). It is likely that TFC will not announce an official announcement that new high-profile players will join the club until two of the club’s designated players currently under contract – Jozy Altidore and Yeferson Soteldo – have moved. Sao Paulo football director Carlos Belmonte told BandSports last week that his organization has spoken to Toronto about buying Soteldo.

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“We learned that they did not intend to lend Soteldo just to negotiate a permanent deal. It cooled the negotiations a bit, but we do not rule him out,” Belmonte said.

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The explosive reports from the Italian media this week do not end with Insigne. Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has reported that the Reds are looking to reach an agreement with Insigne and his international team-mate Andrea (Il Gallo) Belotti. Like Insigne, Belotti is out of contract at the end of the Serie A season and that TFC is ready to offer a more lucrative contract for Il Gallo. Belotti has scored 56 goals in his last three seasons in Serie A.

Giovinco, meanwhile, had more to say about Insigne and the game in Toronto.

“Here (in Canada) they are convinced that the (Insigne) agreement has been implemented,” Giovinco said. Corriere dello Sport . ‘They expect him to come in March, but that sounds strange to me. Insigne is captain of Napoli and I do not think he will leave his club in the middle of the title fight.

“Toronto is a wonderful city in a beautiful country. There is a great Italian community and the freedom to go wherever you want without being disturbed, ”Giovinco added. “When I arrived in 2015, I was promised money that was not there, but I will not discuss these details. I have not regretted my choice. I had more goals and assists than matches. I did well, even though it was not beneficial. ”

Giovinco, who turns 35 in January, has played 23 matches with Italy, the last in November 2014, just a few weeks before joining TFC.

sbuffery@postmedia.com

Twitter @Beezersun

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