Toronto FC is about to officially land Italian star forward Lorenzo Insigne in one of the biggest signings in MLS history.

According to Sky Sport Italy's Fabrizio Romano, a deal had been reached between both sides with Insigne accepting a bid from Toronto FC.

Gianluca DiMarzio of Sky Sport adds that he will join the club in July on a five-and-a-half year contract that will be signed this week, while sports TV channel Sportitalia saying an official announcement is expected Saturday.

A source, not authorized to speak on the negotiations, said that was a "likely" timeline. While nothing had been signed yet, talks were in the "final stages," the source told The Canadian Press.

Insigne, who made his first-team debut with Napoli in 2009, is out of contract at the end of this season.

Landing the 30-year-old would be for a coup for a Toronto team looking to return to its winning ways when another Italian, Sebastian Giovinco, led the attack with panache. Giovinco made $7.1 million in 2018 in his final year with Toronto, with Insigne costing considerably more.

Insigne started for Italy in its Euro 2020 final win over England and had two goals at the tournament. He made his debut for Italy in 2012 and has 10 goals in 53 appearances, also playing for his country at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016.

At five foot four and 130 pounds, Insigne is small but packs a punch. He can play in attack across the field but is often deployed as a left winger.

To acquire Insigne, Toronto would have to shed one of its three designated players. While Spanish playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo, the league's MVP in 2020, appears committed to staying, U.S. international forward Jozy Altidore and Venezuelan winger Yeferson Soteldo both would seem open to a move.

The Canadian Press adds that TFC has also been linked with 28-year-old Torino striker Andrea Belotti, another Italian international whose club contract is expiring this summer.

Toronto has made waves with designated player signings in the past.

Fellow Italian Sebastian Giovinco, like Pozuelo, won MVP honours in TFC colours.

Giovinco left for greener pastures after the 2018 season but still has a home in Toronto. Known as the Atomic Ant, the diminutive Italian who turns 35 later this month has said he would like to come back.

In January 2014, there was the much-ballyhooed "bloody big deal" when TFC signed both England star Jermain Defoe and U.S. international Michael Bradley, son of Bob Bradley. Defoe, who was 31 at the time, lasted one season before returning home while Bradley, who was 26 when he came to Canada, became TFC captain.

At some $10 million apiece, Defoe and Bradley each broke the MLS record for transfer fees. Their combined cost doubled the expansion fee MLSE paid before entering the league in 2007.

MLS requires teams to adhere to a salary budget that was $4.9 million in 2021. But the maximum salary charge for a designated player was $612,500, with anything above that not counting against the cap.

Giovinco made $7.1 million in his final year with Toronto.

More to follow.

Files from The Canadian Press were used for this report.