Steve Clarke dismissed at West Bromich Albion

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If an arguably questionable Christmas party wasn’t enough to finish off the increasingly embattled Steve Clarke era at West Bromich Albion, a fourth consecutive Premier League loss certainly was, apparently.

West Brom removed Clarke from his position Saturday.

The BBC was first to report the news late into the evening in England.

The Baggies have lost four in a row, including a 1-0 setback Saturday to Cardiff City. That left West Brom uncomfortably close to the relegation zone, just two games north of it and moving the wrong way.  Clarke’s side had just one win in his final 10 matches.

With Hull up next for the Baggies, a great opportunity at home to get things pointed in a better direction, club officials apparently didn’t want to waste any more time (or opportunities).

Just this week, West Brom’s top man found himself defending his players’ choice to have a rip-roarin’ Christmas party in Dublin, insisting he had no problems with the oddly timed throwdown. (Not “oddly timed” because of the calendar; it is Christmas time after all. But “oddly timed” because West Brom was struggling so in league play, and perhaps someone might have thought better of all this, the potential PR hammer blow of dancing in the streets amid a painful losing streak. Then again, these are professional athletes and not PR mavens.)

Soccer world reacts to the Manchester attacks

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NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

Soccer clubs, players and personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

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If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.

Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.

Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

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Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]

The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Chelsea’s Conte wins pair of top managerial honors

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Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.

The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.

The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.

In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.