Inter are ready to swoop for Lorenzo Insigne, as his problems with Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis go far beyond just a contract extension.
The reports emerged last night from Sky Sport Italia, then the Corriere dello Sport and others, insisting the Nerazzurri could go for Insigne at anywhere from €20-30m.
That is an extraordinarily low price for the Napoli captain, not to mention someone fresh off winning the UEFA EURO 2020 trophy with Italy.
His contract is due to expire in June 2022 and negotiations for an extension have been barely even broached by the club, who seem if anything quite content to release Insigne at a low price.
Transfer pundit Nicolò Schira suggests not only were Napoli not prepared to offer a wage increase, they actually wanted to cut his salary from the current €4.6m per season to €3.5m per season plus performance-related bonuses.
According to La Repubblica and Sport Mediaset, the real reasons behind this tension have very little to do with the contract.
It goes back to the infamous ‘mutiny’ when players refused to go into a training retreat following a Champions League game in December 2019, rebelling against the orders of De Laurentiis and then-coach Carlo Ancelotti.
That proved a shattering moment for the club, as Ancelotti was fired a few days later, the players believed to be behind the mutiny were fined and even in some cases threatened with legal action.
It was never entirely resolved and Insigne is the only remaining big name who was involved in the scrap.