Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne has been ruled out of Italy's plans for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Armenia and Finland.

The 32-cap player scored in his last two games for the Azzurri against Greece, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

However, a muscle injury sustained in the 4-3 defeat to Juventus in Serie A on Saturday means he will be unavailable to boss Roberto Mancini for the upcoming internationals.

Italy, who have won all four of their Group J matches so far, play Armenia in Yerevan on Thursday before tackling Finland in Tampere on Sunday.

The Italian football federation (FIGC) said on its website that Insigne had returned to Napoli for treatment.

Mancini has called up Freiburg attacking midfielder Vincenzo Grifo, who has one previous cap, as a replacement.

Giorgio Chiellini, Mattia De Sciglio and Bryan Cristante had previously pulled out, replaced by Lazio's Francesco Acerbi, Inter's Danilo D'Ambrosio and Brescia's Sandro Tonali.

Lorenzo Insigne gave Liverpool's defenders a torrid afternoon as Napoli beat the European champions 3-0 in a friendly at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp fielded a strong side but Napoli's homegrown forward took centre stage, tormenting Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold with his pace and close control as he scored the opening goal and played in Arkadiusz Milik for the second.

Insigne was involved again when substitute Amin Younes made it 3-0 seven minutes into the second half and, although Liverpool improved with the introduction of Rhian Brewster and Harry Wilson in the last half-hour, they rarely threatened Alex Meret's goal.

Teenage midfielder Harvey Elliott made his debut as a late substitute after joining the club from Fulham and showed some neat touches but Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti will have left Edinburgh happier than Klopp after his side impressed throughout.

Simon Mignolet was forced into a good diving save to turn Insigne's daisy-cutter free-kick around the post early on and the Italian forward went one better after 17 minutes, dribbling 20 yards with the ball at his feet as Matip backed off before sending a thunderous dipping shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Little more than 10 minutes later Insigne caused more havoc, breaking down the Napoli left and centring a low cross that Milik lifted deftly over the diving Mignolet as he slid into to meet it.

Liverpool's failure to deal with Insigne continued in the second half, when he turned Alexander-Arnold before unleashing a shot that Mignolet parried into the path of Napoli substitute Younes, who duly rolled the ball into an unguarded net.

Brewster's dangerous inswinging cross almost found its way past Meret in the closing stages and Wilson struck a fierce drive that the Napoli keeper did brilliantly to parry around the post as he preserved his clean sheet on a satisfying afternoon for the Serie A side.

Lorenzo Insigne believes James Rodriguez would flourish at Napoli if he chooses to join the Serie A club.

Napoli appear locked in a two-team race to sign the Colombia playmaker, who reportedly favours a move to Atletico Madrid.

The battle may come down to whichever club is willing to meet Real Madrid's asking price which, according to Partenopei president Aurelio De Laurentiis, is beyond reasonable.

Atletico have denied being close to an agreement and Italy international Insigne remains hopeful James will consider a switch to Stadio San Paolo.

"The doors are open for strong players, we welcome them all," the Napoli captain told Radio Kiss Kiss.

"James Rodriguez is a true number 10, he has quality and together with us he would be great.

"Those choices, however, are up to the coach and the club."

Napoli have been quiet in the transfer market to date, acquiring only centre-half Kostas Manolas from Roma and right-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo from Empoli since the end of last season.

But after two successive second-place finishes and with the defender Insigne views as the best in Europe, Kalidou Koulibaly, already on board, Carlo Ancelotti's men are continuing to aim high.

"The Scudetto is everyone's dream," Insigne said.

"In the past few years we have come close and we have been disappointed. I'm convinced that if we all play with this determination we can cause trouble for anyone.

"We know we have a great competitor like Juve in front of us, but things could change this season with the new coach [at Juve, former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri].

"I think we are getting stronger, but we have to start off on the right foot because we have the potential to fight at the top."

Napoli star Lorenzo Insigne reiterated that Maurizio Sarri betrayed the club by joining Serie A champions Juventus, while the captain said he wants to retire at Stadio San Paolo.

Former Napoli head coach Sarri angered players and fans in Naples when he swapped Premier League outfit Chelsea for rivals Juventus last month.

Sarri guided Napoli to three consecutive top-three finishes during his time at the club before leaving for Chelsea in 2018.

Insigne was vocal at the time, warning a move to Juve would represent "a betrayal" of Napoli and the club icon stood by his comments on Monday.

"I said it and I say it again, for us Neapolitans, that was a betrayal," Insigne said during a Q&A session.

"Now we have to focus on ourselves and try to beat him. The Scudetto is a dream for all of us and we will try once more."

Insigne's future has been the subject of speculation as he waits to sign a new deal with Napoli.

The 28-year-old – who emerged from the youth team of his boyhood club in 2010 – is contracted to Napoli until 2022.

Insigne has been linked to Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool previously, and when asked if he could move abroad the Italy international added: "No. I'm still young, I'm happy in Naples and want to stay here for the rest of my career.

"Scoring that goal against Real Madrid gave me such strong sensations and I hope other young Neapolitan lads can feel the same way in future.

"It is the dream of all Neapolitan boys and I am very proud to be in this position."

Insigne made 28 Serie A appearances last season, scoring 10 goals as Napoli finished runners-up to Juventus.

James Rodriguez's potential move to Napoli is being held up by Real Madrid's unreasonable asking price, according to Partenopei president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

LaLiga giants Madrid reportedly want more than €40million for playmaker James, who has spent the past two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti is eager to be reunited with the player he coached in Spain and Germany, but a stalemate in negotiations is said to have alerted Atletico Madrid.

Napoli are remaining calm, with De Laurentiis confident the Colombia international favours a switch to Stadio San Paolo.

"Carlo likes him very much and we're waiting for a more reasonable demand," De Laurentiis told Corriere dello Sport.

"The obstacle is Real Madrid, who are asking for too much in our opinion.

"But James wants to come to Napoli."

Mauro Icardi is one player who will not be joining Ancelotti's side, despite the striker being told he can leave Inter.

De Laurentiis acknowledged he enquired about the Argentina international, but found him to be set on joining Serie A champions Juventus, and the Napoli chief will not entertain a swap deal involving Lorenzo Insigne.

"[Icardi] will always want to go to Juventus," he said.

"Anyway, I prefer Insigne, because we need him, and then we have [Arkadiusz] Milik and [Dries] Mertens.

"We can't ignore Icardi's talent, he's a very strong player, but we've talked about him so much now that he looks older than 26."

Napoli have hit out at media reports claiming Carlo Ancelotti has agreed to the sales of Allan and Lorenzo Insigne, calling speculation "the first big hoax of the season".

Brazil midfielder Allan and Italy international Insigne are two of Napoli's most valuable assets and have been linked with moves – the former apparently particularly interesting Paris Saint-Germain.

A report by Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport claimed Ancelotti had given Napoli chiefs the OK to the players' sales in order to raise the funds required to sign Kostas Manolas, James Rodriguez and Hirving Lozano.

But Napoli moved to shut down such speculation on Monday, insisting the players are not for sale.

A brief statement on Twitter read: "The Gazza [Gazzetta] writes that Ancelotti has said OK to the sales of Allan and Insigne.

"We can call that the first big hoax of the season. Napoli players are not for sale, and no offer worthy of them has come in. If offers arrive, they will be evaluated."

Allan featured 33 times in Serie A last term as Napoli finished as runners-up for a second successive season, while Insigne made 28 appearances, netting 10 goals.

David Beckham is keen to make a splash when Inter Miami FC enter MLS in 2020.

And he has reportedly identified former Inter captain Mauro Icardi as a player to lead the club's attack in the United States.

Icardi is out of favour in Milan and could be set for a switch to the sunny beaches of south Florida.

 

TOP STORY – BECKHAM EYES ICARDI

Inter outcast Mauro Icardi has received an offer from David Beckham's Inter Miami, according to Argentine news agency Telam.

Icardi was stripped of the Inter captaincy in 2018-19 and new head coach Antonio Conte is reportedly determined to sell the striker.

With Icardi's future in Milan uncertain amid apparent interest from Serie A champions Juventus, a move to Miami for the 2020 season could tempt the 26-year-old and his family.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter's determination to part with Mauro Icardi is so they can reportedly free up funds to sign Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United. However, Corriere dello Sport claims the Italian club have rejected the possibility of a player exchange as the Red Devils look to include centre-back Milan Skriniar in a potential swap deal.

- The Sun reports Arsenal are ramping up their efforts to raise funds by selling maligned playmaker Mesut Ozil. The Gunners failed to qualify for the Champions League again and Unai Emery is looking to continue his rebuild.

- LaLiga champions Barcelona are willing to offer €25million to sign Borussia Dortmund left-back Raphael Guerreiro, according to Sport. Barca want to provide competition for Jordi Alba.

- According to le10sport, Ligue 1 holders Paris Saint-Germain are interested in Ajax and Brazil star David Neres, who is on international duty at the Copa America. PSG have also reportedly made an enquiry for Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne, La Gazzetta dello Sport claims.

- The Daily Mail reports Tottenham are not looking to sign Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who is believed to be a target for Manchester United.

Lorenzo Insigne inspired Italy to a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over battling Bosnia-Herzegovina in an absorbing Euro 2020 qualifier in Turin on Tuesday.

Napoli star Insigne volleyed in a brilliant equaliser soon after the interval and provided the pass for Marco Verratti's decisive 86th-minute strike as Roberto Mancini's men extended their winning run to five matches.

Edin Dzeko had given the impressive visitors a 32nd-minute lead – the first goal conceded by the Azzurri since October – and their performance merited at least a point.

It was not to be, though, as Robert Prosinecki's side lost ground on the top two in Group J, in which Italy have taken maximum points from their opening four matches.

 

Roberto Mancini wanted Italy to push for a fourth goal in Saturday's 3-0 Euro 2020 qualification win over Greece, but he still believes his side are "ahead of schedule".

Italy produced a dominant showing in Athens, where a 10-minute, three-goal burst in the first half wrapped up a third victory from as many Group J matches.

Nicolo Barella, Lorenzo Insigne and Leonardo Bonucci were all on target, while the Azzurri also maintained their perfect defensive record.

However, Mancini's assessment of the display was hardly glowing.

"I don't think it was our best performance," the head coach told Rai Sport. "The important thing is that we continued to improve, we did well from the first minute and put the match on the right track.

"The most important aspect now is: why didn't we score a fourth goal in the second half? We should've pushed harder, but at times we sat back and should've converted some of the other chances.

"We risked conceding, as Greece nearly hurt us on the counter a couple of times.

"I said we're ahead of schedule, but still have a lot of work to do. The Nations League didn't go that badly either, as we were in the running until the last game."

Insigne's goal, a neat finish after skipping past Andreas Samaris on the break, was his first for his country in more than a year, leaving the Napoli stalwart relieved.

"I needed a goal, as scoring with this jersey is special," he told Rai Sport, with Bosnia-Herzegovina up next. 

"Above all, we needed the three points and now we have to recover our energy, as there is another battle on Tuesday.

"I think winning that game can be a big step forward towards the Euros, but it'll be intense, and they need points. If we play the way we did [against Greece], we'll achieve our objective.

"It's not just me, as many other players are all working together with the right intensity both in a match situation and in training. The coach is drilling that mentality into us.

"I am happy with the goal, but we're a good group here and if we are to go far, we need everyone."

Italy made it three wins from as many Group J matches with a 3-0 victory over Greece in their pursuit of a place at Euro 2020.

Roberto Mancini's side added to wins over Finland and Liechtenstein as Nicolo Barella, Lorenzo Insigne and Leonardo Bonucci all scored inside 10 first-half minutes in Athens. 

It leaves Italy – who are yet to concede in qualifying – with a maximum return of nine points, while Greece remain on four. 

Andrea Belotti was thwarted by Zeca's timely intervention as he sought to get on the end of a threatening throughball inside the opening five minutes. 

The Torino striker then showed poor technique in lifting a shot from the edge of the box well over the crossbar at the end of a promising move.

But the breakthrough came in the 23rd minute when Greece were overrun at the back and Belotti's cutback was slammed home by Barella.

Greece charged forward in an attempt to get back into the match but were caught on the counter-attack as Insigne darted past Andreas Samaris and poked a deft finish beyond goalkeeper Vasilios Barkas.

The match as a contest was over before half-time, Bonucci's header from Emerson's delivery clipping the upright on its way in.

With the points practically assured, Italy produced a composed second-half showing in which retaining possession took precedence over creating opportunities.

And Greece could do little to instigate a turnaround, Georgios Masouras going close only to see an offside flag raised as the hosts' frustrations grew.

When substitute Manolis Siopis fired wildly over the bar from a decent position, it was clear that even a consolation goal was going to be beyond Angelos Anastasiadis' side.

 

What does it mean? Italy in cruise control

With a 100 per cent record from their opening three games, Italy are already five points ahead of third-placed Greece and look well set to qualify. 

Mancini's men have not yet conceded a goal, which further underlines the strides they have made since failing to reach the 2018 World Cup.

Left flank woes for Greece

Greece struggled in general to contain Italy in the first 45 minutes, but it was down the visitors' left side that the threat came, be it from Insigne or Marco Verratti. The former scored, the latter was typically industrious. 

Kourbelis bypassed in midfield

Dimitrios Kourbelis was perhaps more a symptom of Greece's first-half capitulation than a cause, but the way the game passed him by showed just how dominant Italy were.

After managing just 11 touches and seven passes, he was substituted at the break.

What's next?

Greece remain in Athens to welcome Armenia on Tuesday, while Mancini's men host Bosnia-Herzegovina in Turin on the same night. 

Lorenzo Insigne warned Maurizio Sarri that joining Juventus would represent "a betrayal" of Napoli, where the Chelsea boss was in charge for three years.

Sarri's future is the subject of speculation amid reports he could take the head coach role at Juventus, vacated at the end of 2018-19 by Massimiliano Allegri.

But Insigne urged his former boss to remember that he guided Napoli to three consecutive top-three finishes in Serie A during his time at the helm and in doing so etched his name into the club's history.

"It's speculation that gives me displeasure," Insigne told a news conference ahead of Italy's Euro 2020 qualifier against Greece.

"He did so much for us players and all the Neapolitan people. He's also a professional, but him choosing Juve would hurt.

"It will be a betrayal for us Neapolitans once it becomes official."

Insigne, 28, has represented Napoli for his whole career and played some of his best football under Sarri.

The Italy international indicated Sarri's legacy at Napoli could be affected by a switch to the Bianconeri, saying: "I'm sorry to think about him sitting on the Juventus bench.

"He was very important to me for many reasons. I hope he changes his mind. If he went to Juventus he would hurt us but I can't blame him. It’s his decision."

Jorginho, who played under Sarri at Napoli and then followed him to Chelsea, recently said it would be "sad" if the 60-year-old manager was to leave Stamford Bridge after just one season.

Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne said he is waiting to sign a new contract as he insisted both parties want to "move forward together".

Insigne – who has been linked with Premier League giants Liverpool – cast doubt over his future last month when he conceded an offer may come in that he "can't refuse"'.

However, the 27-year-old star forward is ready to commit his future to his boyhood club, where he emerged from the youth team in 2010.

"Renewal? I'm waiting for the president," Insigne told Sky Sport Italia after converting a 98th-minute penalty in a 2-1 win at home to Cagliari as Napoli sealed second spot on Sunday.

"For my part there's maximum availability. We both want to move forward together. I hope that the signing of the contract will come soon."

Insigne added: "It was important to be clear about going ahead together. There has been misunderstanding but now there is the desire to continue united."

Italy international Insigne has scored 10 Serie A goals and tallied six assists this season.

Insigne has netted 14 goals across all competitions for Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli, who reached the Europa League quarter-finals.

Napoli guaranteed they will finish second in Serie A again by securing a last-gasp 2-1 win at home to Cagliari.

The visitors led through Leonardo Pavoletti's strike midway through the second half at Stadio San Paolo on Sunday.

But Dries Mertens hit back, with his 107th goal for Napoli moving him level alongside Attila Sallustro as their joint-third most prolific players.

In added time Fabrizio Cacciatore was penalised for a handball, the penalty awarded following a VAR check, with Artur Ionita dismissed in the aftermath.

Lorenzo Insigne stepped up to convert in the eighth minute of added time, ensuring Carlo Ancelotti has matched last season's second place in his first campaign in charge.

Lorenzo Insigne said Napoli had one of their worst performances of the season after losing the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final at Arsenal 2-0.

Aaron Ramsey's opener and a Kalidou Koulibaly own goal left Napoli with it all to do in the return fixture at the Stadio San Paolo next Thursday.

Insigne wasted a big chance to reduce the deficit moments before half-time, while Piotr Zielinski missed an opportunity to secure a late away goal when set up by the Italy forward.

And Napoli's captain accepted he felt guilty about blazing over the crossbar, while highlighting the failures of his side in the first half.

"I am still thinking about that chance, because an away goal would have been important," Insigne said to Sky Sport Italia. "I got there too stretched out, it went badly.

"We have to think about the errors we made and ensure we don't make them again, because we've got it all to do next week.

"We lacked some courage at the start, it was one of our worst performances of the season, but we need to focus and do it differently in the second leg.

"Arsenal are a great team, we saw that tonight and already knew before. Having said that, we had the chances to score and they were simply more effective with their scoring opportunities.

"We must play with the right determination and intensity next Thursday to turn this around."

Napoli were grateful to goalkeeper Alex Meret for a string of saves that leaves them with hope ahead of the second leg, especially as they have only lost once at home since March 2018.

"It was an ugly first half from us, we made a lot of mistakes and were imprecise," Meret told Sky Sport Italia. "We needed more bravery playing out from the back.

"However, we played much better after the break and created the chances. We know it'll be very difficult, but we believe that we can turn it around in the second leg.

"We weren't as sharp as we should have been and the things we tried in training didn't come off. There were definite improvements after the break and we have to build on that.

"Arsenal above all struggle when we try to slice their defence open, so we need to work on that in the second leg. We have the San Paolo crowd behind us in the second leg and will give it our all."

Lorenzo Insigne has cast doubt over his Napoli future by conceding that an offer may come in that he "can't refuse".

The Italy forward has spent his entire career with Napoli and, following the departure of Marek Hamsik, is now club captain.

But Insigne hinted at some unrest by revealing he could be tempted away from the Serie A outfit.

"I am 28 years old [this year] and it could happen that I receive an offer I can't refuse," he told Corriere dello Sport.

"I've proved what I am worth and there are people around who appreciate me."

Insigne's nine league goals have helped Napoli to second in the table, but Juventus are on the brink of securing the title.

Carlo Ancelotti's side are still in the hunt for the Europa League crown, though, and face Arsenal in the quarter-finals.

 

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