Reports indicate Real Madrid assistant has edge for West Brom job

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With Pepe Mel lasting just four months at the helm of West Bromwich Albion before quitting a day after the season, the Baggies are again looking towards Spain for their next man.

Reports all over the country have tabbed Real Madrid assistant Paul Clement as the man, indicating that he was a major target before Mel was hired as well, until the club chose the former Real Betis manager.

The Englishman has become Carlo Ancelotti’s understudy, following him from Chelsea to Paris Saint-Germain and now at Real Madrid, and he has said he wishes to return home.

“I think it’s soon [that I will manage], it will be soon,” Clement said. “Will it be England? I don’t rule out anything. More than likely in England, although if a nice opportunity came up in another country I wouldn’t rule it out. I’ve enjoyed working in France and Spain as well.”

The 42-year-old (pictured, right) has been invaluable for Real Madrid, helping new signing Gareth Bale settle into the club and teaching him the ways of his new manager.

Clement knows that eventually he will have to embark out on his own, despite having such a good relationship with Ancelotti. “Carlo has given me a lot of confidence in me and given me the belief that one day I can do it, but he hasn’t kicked me out of the door yet,” Clement joked.

Starting his career in Chelsea’s developmental center as a PE coach, Clement earned his first coaching role across town in the Fulham academy before rejoining Chelsea under Guus Hiddink.  After the interim manager’s departure and the hiring of Ancelotti full-time, the two formed a partnership that has carried them together for the past five years.

VIDEO: Captain Kane puts England on the board early

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It may be the easiest goal-scoring opportunity Harry Kane‘s ever had in an international competition, and he finished it as easy as you’d like.

Kane side-footed home after Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen made a terrific save on John Stone’s header off a corner, but the save was directed right into a wide-open Kane who was standing ready inside the six yard box. The 11th minute goal will surely settle some of the Three Lions’ nerves as they open their World Cup bid in Russia.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news

After slow start, Belgium takes care of business against feisty Panama

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All it took was one goal to bring Belgium to life.

Following a frustrating first 45 minutes, in which Belgium put a pair of shots into the side netting and forced saves from Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, Dries Mertens 47th minute goal opened the floodgates, as Belgium went on to defeat Panama, 3-0, Monday afternoon in Sochi.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

But Panama never made it easy for the Belgians. From the opening whistle the CONCACAF nation showed its incredible spirit, chasing down Belgium all across the field and making life incredibly difficult for Belgium attackers Romelu Lukaku, Mertens and Eden Hazard. Hazard was hacked down all over the field, and while he did earn fouls and a few yellow cards were issued to Panamanian players, it was enough to get in Hazard’s head.

Two minutes into the second half, everything changed. A wonderstrike from Mertens opened the game, and forced Panama to attack and try and tie the match, which gave Hazard, de Bruyne and Lukaku more space to operate.

In the heat and humidity of the Sochi summer, Panama’s veteran defense began to tire, allowing de Bruyne the space to deliver a terrific assist to Lukaku in the box, putting Belgium up 2-0 in the 69th minute.

 

Six minutes later, Lukaku was put through on the break, chipping over Penedo to confirm the victory.

With the win, Belgium moves to the top of Group G. Up next for Belgium is Tunisia on Saturday, while Panama takes on England on Sunday.

VIDEO: de Bruyne delivers gorgeous assist on Lukaku goal

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It took a little bit of patience, but Romelu Lukaku finally got on the scoresheet at the 2018 World Cup, thanks to a delicious assist from crosstown club rival Kevin De Bruyne.

The Manchester City playmaker delivered a spectacular outside-of-the-boot cross into the box, where Lukaku’s head met it and guided it towards the far post for Belgium’s second goal of the day.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Arsenal close in on Leno; Man City near Jorginho signing, and more

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Arsenal looks like it will have a new man between the pipes for next season.

According to a report from German publication SportBild, Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno will be introduced as an Arsenal player on Tuesday, after a reported $23-29 million transfer fee. The 26-year-old was on Germany’s 35-man pre-World Cup squad, but was one of the last cuts as Joachim Low went with Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Kevin Trapp in Russia.

Leno became the full-time starter for Leverkusen as a 20-year-old, and has held the position of the No. 1 for the last six seasons, earning plenty of Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League experience along the way.

It’s unclear what will happen to current Arsenal No. 1 Petr Cech. The 36-year-old Premier League legend experienced one of his worst seasons in net for Arsenal and he could begin the season as a backup, unless he moves to a new club. He reportedly has a contract through 2019.

Here’s some more transfer rumors from around the Premier League and Europe.

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