By Joe Ellis

31st Dec, 2021 | 3:00pm

West Ham target Lorenzo Insigne agrees deal with MLS team Toronto FC

West Ham and David Moyes have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of Napoli winger Lorenzo Insigne, based on an update by Corriere Dello Sport on Friday.

Corriere della Sera reported in their print edition earlier this week (29 December, page 51) that the Hammers had been in touch with the Italy international’s agent about a potential January transfer.

The Gli Azzurri captain sees his contract expire at the end of the season and has now reportedly agreed a deal to join MLS side Toronto FC.

The Euro 2020 winner is set to receive a big pay rise to make the move Stateside in a transfer that could see the game grow even further in North America.

West Ham’s planning of the January transfer window has been criticised with the senior management team yet to provide owners David Gold, David Sullivan and Daniel Kretinsky with a list of targets for the month.

But given the Hammers free-flowing attack and the superb form they have been in, missing out on a 30-year-old Insigne perhaps isn’t the horror show it could have been a few years ago.

Irons fans have been dazzled all season by the direct running of Jarrod Bowen and the powerful presence of Michail Antonio which has produced a large portion of the Hammers’ goals.

Their raw ability has been complimented nicely by the finesse of Algerian Said Benrahma and the hard-working, clinical Pablo Fornals has also chipped in with vital goal contributions this season.

Signing Insigne would likely mean one of these fan favourites would have to be resigned to the bench and it could be a risk to disrupt the attacking connections the team have made.

West Ham’s transfer budget for January would be better spent bolstering the defence which has become strained by injuries in recent weeks.

These additions though won’t be imminent with the board and Moyes yet to agree on a number one target.

In other West Ham news, this England international is a loan target for West Ham in January.