Napoli Owner Aurelio De Laurentiis: Lorenzo Insigne Has £178M Release Clause

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2018

NAPLES, ITALY - AUGUST 25:  Lorenzo Insigne of SSC Napoli in action during the serie A match between SSC Napoli and AC Milan at Stadio San Paolo on August 25, 2018 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis has said star forward Lorenzo Insigne has a £178 million verbal release clause, which he has agreed with the player's agent, Mino Raiola.

Outspoken figurehead De Laurentiis spoke to Corriere dello Sport (h/t TalkSport) and said the former Liverpool and Chelsea target can leave if a club raises a near-world-record sum for his signature.

The Napoli supremo said: "He has a symbolic release clause. Raiola and I have decided that if we get a €200 million bid we'll sell him. It's not a written agreement, but a verbal one. €200 million, is that clear?"

Insigne has impressed as one of Napoli's most consistent attackers for a number of years, but there are bound to be doubts over whether he is or will ever be worth such a massive figure.

Still, Bleacher Report's Alex McGovern recently detailed his surprise at not having seen the left winger feature more prominently in the gossip pages in recent years:

The 27-year-old scored 14 goals in 48 appearances last season—eight times in Serie A—along with 14 assists. The campaign prior to that he contributed 20 goals and 12 assists in 49 outings.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

It says both good and bad about the player, however, that he was expected to do far better in 2017-18, per OptaPaolo:

Insigne opened this Serie A season by striking in a 2-1 win over Lazio, with Napoli hoping to break Juventus' hold over the Italian top flight, which they have won for the past seven seasons running.

Raiola is one of football's biggest agents at the top level and boasts the likes of Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic among his clients, each of whom he has earned moves to the Premier League in recent years.

De Laurentiis' comments also serve to underline the strong relationship he shares with Raiola, or at least so far as he's willing to profess of their symbolic gesture in public.

Some of the elite in England's top flight, along with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, are perhaps among the only clubs who could afford to meet De Laurentiis' valuation of his star.

That's not to say the Naples outfit won't decide they'l settle for a lower fee should it come in, but De Laurentiis has at least established the automatic sale figure, and it's no small change.