Arsenal preparing to pounce on Italy’s Lorenzo Insigne
Arsenal are interested in Italy forward Lorenzo Insigne, with a view to signing the Napoli winger after the World Cup.
The Gunners are looking to strengthen in attacking areas, with Arsene Wenger attracted by the versatility of the forward-thinking midfielder.
He would be prepared to place aside £17m of the north London club’s transfer kitty, but only if Insigne impresses at the finals in Brazil, showing he can handle the pressure of performing on the biggest stage.
Insigne, 23, will be hoping to start for Cesare Prandelli’s side, at odds of 22/1 to win the World Cup, after finishing the season in fine form for Napoli.
Three goals in his last three games for the Neopolitan outfit, including a brilliant brace against Fiorentina, indicates the versatile forward has more of an eye for goal than stats of eight in 49 appearances this term suggest. He is at odds of 10/3 to score at any time against England, in Italy’s first game in Group D.
Insigne was a surprise inclusion over Giuseppe Rossi, the former Manchester United and Villarreal star, who was unable to convince Prandelli of his fitness ahead of the final squad selection. The injury-plagued striker was axed, even after recording 16 goals for Fiorentina, in a campaign interrupted by a knee injury.
The 27-year-old had recovered in time to make the preliminary squad, even facing the Republic of Ireland in Italy’s previous game. However, it is Insigne who will join fellow forwards Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano, Alessio Cerci, and Ciro Immobile in Brazil.
Napoli, guided to an impressive third place in Serie A by former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, would be reluctant to lose yet another of their star men.
They will hope to stop Insigne following Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi, both now residing at PSG, out of the club, as they look to build on a successful season.
Napoli are notorious for milking every penny from opposition clubs intending to snatch their players, so Wenger is likely to have to reach a little deeper into his pockets.
With attacking midfield options including the likes of Santi Cazorla, Germany duo Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski, and England teammates Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wenger may yet decide to spend his pennies elsewhere.