TFC NOTEBOOK: Manning says club looked at a few euros in addition to Insignia

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Toronto FC president Bill Manning neither threw water on rumors of Lorenzo Insigne at TFC on Friday night, nor stoked the flames.

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In other words, stay tuned.

Increasingly, there have been reports outside of Europe, as well as from Nashville football writer Will Forbes, that the Italy international has been offered a ton of cash by Toronto, possibly a record amount for MLS. Insigne’s contract expires this summer and the Italy playmaker has not reached an agreement with Napoli on an extension. According to reports, the Serie A side have only offered the 30-year-old half of what he demands.

Insigne, a winger who can also play in midfield, has scored 89 goals in 319 appearances for Napoli and has been playing for the senior Italian national team since 2012. Earlier this year he played for Italy in the UEFA Euro 2020, the tournament won by the Azzurri. . Insigne has scored 10 goals in 53 appearances for the senior national team. His current market value according to Transfermarkt is US $ 52.80 million.

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“There are a lot of players that we find out about and some you get some traction that you get and some don’t,” Manning told the Toronto sun . “There are players in Europe that we looked at and learned about. We ask about a lot of players. January is definitely the time to heat up. In December the trade window opens, you can see some activity there and I think January is really when the coins start to be added and subtracted.

Manning needs to be careful when talking about possible moves for big name players as he still has three designated players under contract – Alejandro Pozuelo, Jozy Altidore and Yeferson Soteldo. It is said that the TFC hopes to be able to move Altidore and / or Soteldo this offseason. TFC has over $ 10 million tied to these three players each year.

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As for reports that TFC’s all-time top scorer Sebastian Giovinco wants to return, Manning reiterated that the team have spoken to the Atomic Ant twice this fall and the door is still open for Giovinco, who maintains a residence in Toronto. A TFC source told The Sun last month that Giovinco had asked for too much money and that Toronto would not pay him a DP-like salary to return.

“The salary cap (MLS) is the most important thing,” Manning said. “We can talk about players all day, but if we can’t get them on our roster because of the league (cap), well that’s the biggest you have to deal with. Again, as January rolls around and the window opens, I think there is going to be some movement (with new players). We’ll see how things play out and see if there is an opportunity there (with Giovinco).

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DISCUSSION WITH AKINOLA VA AYO-K

Brampton forward Ayo Akinola is no longer under contract with TFC, but Manning said the two sides are looking to strike a new deal.

“I just spoke with Ayo today,” Manning told The Sun. “We are having discussions. I’m actually going to meet him and his representatives next week and we’ll see what we can do there.

Akinola, 21, scored nine goals for the team in 15 appearances last year and managed three in 11 games this season before sustaining an ACL injury in July while on international duty with the Canada, which saw him miss the rest of the 2021 season.

“Our premises are important to us,” added Manning. “As they’ve grown and become pros, they also have to prove themselves. It has been a good discussion and we will continue next week.

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DUNN GOES ABROAD

Former TFC defender Julian Dunn has struck a deal with Hamarkameratene, a Norwegian football club based in the town of Hamar. The Eliteserien club announced that they had signed Dunn for a two-year contract, which Dunn confirmed on his Instagram account.

Dunn, 21, has played largely with TFC II since 2017 and returned to the first team for 2021 but only made two appearances, mostly because he was hit with the injury bug. His contract expired at the end of the season.

Based in Hamar, HamKam was promoted to No. 1 in Norway last month.

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Twitter @Beezersun

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