With Lorenzo Insigne’s status at Napoli uncertain for some time, it seemed a potential North London derby could be brewing on the transfer market.
As early as May, both Arsenal and Tottenham were said to be eyeing up moves for the Partenopei youth product after he struggled in his first season under Rafael Benitez.
The 23-year-old was still able to tally nine goals and 11 assists across all competitions, but often looked uncomfortable in a new system that required him to adjust his playing style.
Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis quickly laughed off the idea that Insigne could land in England for €20 million, only for a tumultuous summer to follow.
Arsenal and Spurs remained linked with the hometown prodigy as he was abused by Napoli supporters at an official club event and jeered in the Champions League play-off round.
Yet after deadline day passed and a difficult start to the season made way for some recent success, a resurgent Insigne has been handed a new contract at the San Paolo.
The new deal has laid to rest any chance of the North London duo prying him away from the Partenopei for the time being – but how does it stack up to his peers’ contracts?
Insigne’s fresh terms, running until 2019, will see him net £940,000 per season after tax in base pay – approximately £18,000 per week – according to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio.
Bonuses could see his wages rise to £29,000 net per week should he meet all incentives, a significant boost on the contract’s guaranteed money.
Considering the tax rate in Italy Insigne is subject to – about 46% - this means Insigne’s gross wages including all bonuses would be around £54,000 per week.
This pay packet would put him on the low end of the squad at Arsenal, on par with the likes of Nacho Monreal and ahead of only a handful of other players.
At Spurs, Insigne would be higher on the totem pole. He’d be roughly as well-paid as Aaron Lennon and better so than Christian Eriksen, but would lag behind Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado.
Given the attacking talent in either squad, it was doubtful if Arsenal or Spurs truly needed Insigne, though the Gunners would be seemingly well-equipped to take on his salary.
His wages certainly wouldn’t be breaking the bank at White Hart Lane, however would have a greater impact on Spurs’ wage bill than Arsenal’s.
The true sticking point for either would likely be the fee Napoli would have demanded to give up a talismanic, homegrown talent De Laurentiis is inclined to protect.
At any rate, Insigne will remain at the Stadio San Paolo for the foreseeable future. A move abroad down the road isn’t out of the question – his agent previously admitted flattery at Arsenal’s interest – though Insigne’s value will need to be reassessed if the time is ever right for a Premier League switch.