Report: Roma and U.S. international Michael Bradley not moving in January transfer window

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Sources have apparently confirmed to that Michael Bradley, the most important figure to this year’s World Cup bid, will stay put at Roma during the January transfer window.

(Aside: how cool is it that we can now say “this year’s” World Cup? We are now officially into the World Cup year, you know?)

Reports had Bradley, the fourth man in a stately, talented three-man midfield at the Stadio Olimpico, perhaps merging into the order at Fulham, Cardiff or Southampton. We talked here about the plusses and minuses of the potential move into Craven Cottage, where Bradley would have the bonus of linking up for a couple of months with Clint Dempsey. (Giving us the bonus of having a real reason to watch Fulham, where the soccer this year has been fairly hard on the eyes, and not much on the success factor, either.)

If he’s staying in Italy, U.S. fans can only hope that Bradley will get more playing time in the second half of Italy’s Serie A campaign. The best possible Michael Bradley is one who is playing regularly – which seems unlikely unless one of the three men in front of him are sold or injured.

His five starts for Roma over the last few months (plus six appearances off the bench, including a few of nominal minutes) is OK. But given the difficult U.S. draw, Jurgen Klinsmann’s team needs everyone at razor-sharp level. Little else will do.

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 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.