Laurent Blanc talks Cabaye, Pjanic interest as Roma fire back

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Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc was as open as it gets today about who he fancies in the transfer market.

Unfortunately, the recipients weren’t as, well, receptive.

Blanc declared today, “It would be good to recruit a player in the heart of the game, to have an extra player in midfield.”

So who is the midfielder he so desires?

“Yes, [Miralem] Pjanic is interesting,” continued the 48-year-old. “He could be a good alternative to [Yohan] Cabaye. They are both targets for PSG. They are very technical players who have the same profile.”

Well, Pjanic’s current club Roma took offense.

Almost immediately after the quotes were public, the Italian club had a response via Twitter.

So I guess Blanc can take him off the setlist. I think he already knew that though. “I like Pjanic, but I’m not the only one. Roma like him too,” said the bossman in his press conference.

The league-leaders have been looking for a quality midfielder ever since 18-year-old talent Adrien Rabiot went down with a knee injury two weeks ago.  There is ligament damage, but will not require an operation and could come back sooner than expected.

Either way, Blanc made it clear he’s looking to fill a spot in the middle of the pitch. However, he didn’t sound like anyone coming in would make it directly into the matchday squad.

“It would be good to recruit a player in the heart of the game, to have an extra player in midfield. We need a player who has the same mentality as the others when they are playing or on the bench.”

That’s not exactly a cry for immediate help, rather a beacon of light searching for someone to provide depth.

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.