Updated March 24, 2023

A fair proportion of Toronto FC fans may not be happy with how Lorenzo Insigne’s time at BMO Field has gone so far. It seems the feeling may be mutual.

Turkish outlet Akşam Spor reports that the Italian is not satisfied with life in MLS and has told his representatives that he would like a new challenge. He is allegedly wanted by Galatasaray on an initial loan deal this summer, with an option to buy based on performance metrics.

The 31-year-old has been “recommended” to the Turkish giants by Erden Timur, the businessman who helped bring Insigne’s friend and longtime Napoli teammate Dries Mertens to Galatasaray, claims the report. It is thought that Insigne would look positively at a move to Galatasaray, in part because of the presence of Mertens.

Timur, who holds a vice-presidents position at Galatasaray and sits on the board of directors, will reportedly offer a lucrative contract and the promise of the Champions League Football to Insigne, who is currently out injured until April and has played only 34 minutes of competitive soccer for TFC this season.

Galatasaray’s recent recruitment drive has included signing numerous players who have previously starred on some of Europe’s biggest stages. As well as Mertens last summer, the likes of Mauro Icardi, Juan Mata, Nicolò Zaniolo, Lucas Torreira, and Haris Seferović have all turned up in Istanbul over the last 12 months.

However, this report could be bred largely from the connection between Insigne and Mertens and should be taken with a heavy pinch of salt at this stage – much like the claims that TFC want to sign Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets.

For what it’s worth, the Toronto Sun’s Steve Buffery asked a TFC front-office figure about the report later on Monday and the response was that it is “just silly rumours.”

A few days later, head coach Bob Bradley said on a media call that while Insigne is frustrated by his injury woes, “when rumours pop up, that’s just not stuff that we usually think about or talk about, especially when, day in and day out, within the group, you get a good feel for how everybody’s doing.”

TFC fans and coaching staff have had to get used to life without Insigne for much of his time in Toronto since he officially arrived last summer, and it’s well-known that the cap space taken up by him and his Italian compatriot Federico Bernardeschi leaves the Reds with little room to manoeuvre financially.

It’s only a rumour at this stage, but a move materializing in the future seems far from out of the question. Maybe it’s just the freezing cold winter weather and the sore groin talking, but it hasn’t exactly been the happy marriage that fans and the TFC hierarchy had hoped for.

After missing five of the 16 MLS games he was theoretically available for after joining midway through 2022, Insigne has played just nine per cent of TFC’s minutes so far in 2023. The transfer has been no Sebastian Giovinco 2.0 thus far, that’s for sure.

For now, it’s probably best to sprinkle that hefty pinch of salt and move on. But, when it comes to the likelihood of further rumours, would you really be that surprised?